“Cold Comfort”

Some time ago, I wrote in a tongue-in-cheek way about there needing to be a lawyer on every hospital ward to help improve patient care. (Click on February 2012 in the ARCHIVE and see “Untold Pressure” and then “Legal Eagles or Vultures”).

Now it seems lawyers are beginning to take me seriously. Figures from the NHS Litigation Authority show that the NHS paid out a staggering £1.325 BILLION COMPENSATION to patient for medical mistakes and legal fees.  This is 46% up on the previous year spurred on by “no win – no fee” lawyers.

This is a poor state of affairs for patients and good business for lawyers. In the period from 2004 to 2009, there were 5,500 legal cases which resulted in an average compensation per patient of £15,000.  The lawyers took home £36,000 per case.

By 2010 there were 14,000 cases settled.  So at least something is growing in our economy.

Become a lawyer, not a doctor!

P.s. In an article in The Times’ legal section on 5th July 2012, there was a report that Dragons Den entrepreneur James Caan was investing in three solicitors firms.  He must have been reading my blog :-).

P.p.s. On 29th June 2012, the Care Quality Commission reported that 22% of hospitals are failing to meet standards required by law – mainly in relation to low staffing levels and failure to provide basic care.

A lawyer’s paradise!

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