Significant Changes Expected to Scottish Clinical Negligence Practice

Blurred out hospital ward

The Scottish Government recently consultated on a no-fault scheme for clinical negligence. Whatever the result of the consultation, change of this nature is likely to be a long way off.

There is however other, much more imminent, change on the horizon. The Personal Injury Users Group and the Rules Council are to to consider the new draft rules and accompanying Practice Note for all clinical negligence and other complex cases in the Court of Session.

In essence, the new rules will introduce judicial case management of clinical negligence cases for the first time. As soon as the Record closes, both sides will be expected to appear at a hearing to address the court on a wide range of matters including progress to date, issues for proof, evidence of witnesses likely to be required etc. The procedure is to be replicated in the Sheriff Court Rules.

The new procedure is to be welcomed. It should force Health Boards to become active in the litigation process at a much earlier point than they do at present. 

For pursuers, one of the results will be a greater need to prepare cases to an advanced stage before litigation is commenced. There will be few hiding places.

Perhaps you have clinical negligence cases which have not progressed because of difficulty finding experts or lack of funding? We can help Our specialist team at Digby Brown is happy to consider any cases where you may need funding. If we take a case on under Compensate, we offer access to our expert database plus, of course, full funding to conclusion. We share the success fee with you.