The Current System of Medical Negligence Law in Scotland

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Currently in Scotland compensation schemes are run on a fault based system which in turn means that is must be proven that the health care provider was at fault and to what degree of fault. Currently the funding comes from NHS Scotland and Health Boards are protected by Clinical Negligence and Other Risk Indemnity Schemes (CNORIS) against disproportionate loss which was introduced into Scotland in 2000.

What is covered by the current scheme?

The amount of the compensation can either be decided by the court or an out of court settlement that has been agreed by the NHS Board. Medical staffs including dental and nurses are at present covered under such a scheme as they are employed directly by the Health Board staff. The current scheme which covers claims form medical negligence basically covers all areas of the hospital environment in case any compensation claims should arise. It should be made clear however that the board does not cover sub-contractors such as GP’s or other care providers that do not operate under a hospital environment such as opticians, dentist and pharmacists as these have separate insurance which will cover them for claims against medical negligence.

It is possible for those wishing to claim compensation through this avenue to claim for injuries or loss aswell as treatment that has been delayed through no fault of the patient including future care loss and even those who suffer loss of earnings.

Clinical Negligence and Other Risk Indemnity Schemes (CNORIS)

Under this scheme which was first established in 1999 but not implemented until 2000 by the Scottish Government Health Directorates in partnership with Willis Ltd to bring about cost effective ways of dealing with compensation claims and estimating financial factors. It currently offers advice to all parts of the Scottish NHS system on how to reduce and deal with risk factors and to ensure that all its member are aware of what is covered under the scheme and are using its objectives to their fall advantage. Funds are adequately raised so that all members can recuperate whatever is lost and to make sure that updates of financial schemes are published to each of its member so that budgeting for the future can be accurate and financial funds calculated. Risk management is key to such a scheme and both clinician and non-clinical analysis taking in to consideration loss analysis is published throughout the year to all its members.

How is the scheme different?

This actual scheme operates different to such schemes that are conducted in England and Wales. In England the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) which was established in 1995 deal with any medical negligence claims that are the obligation of the NHS and are subsequently covered by the Clinical Negligence Schemes for Trusts (CNST). In Wales they have adopted a risk pool scheme, the Welsh Risk Pool Scheme which is voluntary although all trusts and Local Health Boards are members is a mutual self-insurance scheme that covers member NHS bodies in Wales.