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The Scottish Government has recently published its study into the current system for medical negligence claiming in Scotland.
The study was commissioned to inform the work of the No-fault Compensation Review Group which was established in 2009 to consider the potential benefits to patients of the introduction of a no-fault compensation scheme for medical negligence claims in Scotland.
According to the Executive Summary, findings suggest that patients' grievances, complaints and even claims are not necessarily related to a specific medical event but rather to communication problems, staff attitudes and poor general care. An improved complaints procedure would give complainants a greater sense that they were listened to and that lessons were learnt from their complaint.
The settlement of a claim is influenced by a range of factors. This includes the level of experience of the pursuer’s solicitor in medical negligence claiming and the financial value of the claim. Relatively small value claims appear less likely to result in settlement. In those which settle, the cost of dealing with the claim often exceeds the award. The research suggests that small financial claims might be better dealt with through a complaints system which permitted a moderate level of financial payment in some claims.
The study explored the potential expenditure implications of a no-fault scheme based on the analysis of data on closed cases. Estimates were calculated based on a range of assumptions about how a no-fault system might operate as well as costs of the current system in recent years. At the lower end estimates for a no-fault compensation scheme would be similar to the cost of existing schemes whilst at the upper end, costs could increase by one half.
A no-fault scheme will not necessarily address non-clinical aspects of care. It is therefore important that any new scheme is linked into the wider process by which patients attempt to resolve disputes.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.
The TUC has called for urgent action from the government to deal with the huge death toll from work-related cancer as research is published in the British Journal of Cancer Supplement into the incidence of cancers caused by work.
The study was was funded by the Health and Safety Executive, and found that every year around 8,000 cancer deaths in Britain each year are linked to occupations which equates to around 5% of all cancer deaths in Britain.
Researchers used a list of work-related cancer causing substances identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to calculate the impact of work on cancer cases and deaths, and discovered around 13,600 new cancer cases are caused by risk factors related to work each year.
After asbestos, the main work-related risk factors were night shift-work - linked to around 1,960 female breast cancer cases, mineral oil from metal and printing industries - linked to around 1730 cases of bladder, lung and non-melanoma skin cancers, sun exposure - linked to around 1540 skin cancer cases, silica exposure - linked to 910 cancer cases and diesel engine exhaust - linked to 800 cases.
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A golfer has been awarded just under £400,000 in damages after he lost an eye in an accident on a golf course in West Lothian, reports the BBC.
The 44-year-old had been walking from one hole to the next when he was hit on the head by a ball struck by a golfer on the 18th tee. The impact caused so much damage that he now wears a prosthetic eye.
Anthony Phee sued both the golfer responsible for hitting the ball and Niddry Castle golf club for damages. The defendants had claimed contributory negligence, saying that Mr Phee looked up when he heard the shout of 'fore', however the judge rejected this and instead accepted evidence that Mr Phee had tried to shield his head. He ruled that the golfer hitting the ball was 70% liable for the accident, and the golf club 30% liable.