No Fault Compensation Schemes need Reform
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The No-Fault Compensation Review Group which was established in 2009 and it was felt that the way medical negligence was claimed needed to be reformed and to weigh up the pros and cons of such a scheme and how it would work in Scotland. The current scheme in Scotland is a fault based compensation scheme which has been under attack and it has been highlighted that patient’s grievances are not being heard correctly nor appreciated.
Faults found with the current system
Those that had made complaints about the service and treatment the hospital had provided through the complaints procedures where in itself available and reachable but thereafter the system failed in any further communication. Patients did not receive any feedback and were disappointed not to receive information to why they had received poor treatment. Therefore patients were not satisfied that those responsible had listened or even taken steps to improve treatment so patients often pursued a claim as a result as they did not want others to be treated in a similar manner.
Very often a victim uses the claim process as the last resort in any complaint as they feel that their concerns have not been dealt with or listened to and acted upon. The actual starting point of any possible claim is the patient or victim receiving poor treatment. These victims go on to make a complaint through the complaints process but as they do not hear anything believe that there accusation has not been taken seriously. If the whole complaints procedure was revised then a complaint may not ever turn into a compensation claim.
It can be argued that no non-fault based schemes are not the exact answer to fault based schemes as such schemes also need fine tuning and definitely do not give answers to the problems faced by the non-fault schemed. A fault based scheme focuses mainly on the improvement or decreasing of negligence rather than looking at ways and which the quality of care in the first place can be improved.
A system needs to be put into place that will categorically and ideally bring about resolving medical negligence claims and decreasing the overall cost they bear on the NHS system. The main point of a no-fault scheme is that the victim does not have to prove that the service or treatment that was received was of the fault of another. The solution to improving the way the system works would inturn provide an appropriate amount of compensation to the victim, coming to a result in a timely manner allowing the right to ongoing care if needed alongside support and rehabilitation.
Problems that have been identified in the current system include huge legal fee costs that need to be controlled, the amount of expert reports that are needed could be brought to a minimal depending on the severity of the case and the actual amount of claims that are on the increase. The driving force is that these errors that are being made should be totally prevented in the first place and this way there would be no need for massive cost and risk funds which are need to compensate those who have received such treatment.