The Health and Social Care committee has launched a new inquiry to examine the case for the reform of NHS litigation against a background of a significant increase in costs.
Commenting, Raj Rattan, dental director at Dental Protection, said, “We welcome the new Health and Social Care committee inquiry examining the high cost of clinical negligence claims and the case for legal reform. It is important that there is reasonable compensation for patients harmed following negligence, but a balance must be struck. When the cost of clinical negligence increases, the cost of professional protection must also increase to reflect this - and we recognise the pressure this places on dental professionals.
“We know that working in an increasingly litigious environment day in and day out is also challenging, and is taking its toll on dentists when they are striving to provide the best possible service and care to their patients during very difficult times.
“Dental Protection will be responding to the inquiry in order to ensure the impact of litigation on dentistry is not overlooked. A package of legal reforms to help tackle the rising cost of clinical negligence, and the challenging claims environment for dentists, is long overdue. This should include reforms that would stop lawyers charging disproportionate legal fees, as well as measures that would reduce the cumulative cost where minor injuries are sustained.
“The government committed to publishing a strategy to tackle rising clinical negligence costs in September 2018, and whilst we recognise it currently has more pressing priorities, we must not lose sight of this. We hope this inquiry will help to keep the issue high on the agenda.”