Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Medical Negligence cases in Scotland come under scrutiny

It is no surprise the real reason which so many medical negligence cases against Doctors, Hospitals and Health Trusts in Scotland fail, due to the way in which lawyers and insurers control the whole process ... let alone the lack of any proper independent & transparent organisation to impartially investigate such complaints ...

This article comes from "A Diary of Injustice in Scotland - By Peter Cherbi" at :

Medical negligence claims in Scotland obstructed by insurers & lawyers for their own benefit

More than 2000 claims of negligence against NHS Hospitals in Scotland have been filed by patients in the past five years" - writes Judith Duffy of The Sunday Herald"

Yes, I know ... mines was one of them - and you can read about it here :

However, reading further intp the article, it is revealed that fewer than one in five of the cases have actually been settled - the remainder of them either being obstruced, delayed, or abandoned - because of the impossibility of progressing such an action - particularly in Scotland.

When I hired a Scottish lawyer - Mr Michael Robson, of Robsons WS, Ratho (Near Edinburgh) to take on a case of negligence against Borders General Hospital, over the death of my mum and the way they treated her, he gave me the usual line that yes, it was negligence, horrific, etc .. what happened (the same line lawyers give to many clients who have such cases) ... but as you all know from newspaper & media reports - Robson did nothing - actually - worse - he pretended to be doing something on the cases, when he was not - making me sign legal aid papers, telling me he had written letters seeking medical records, etc ... but no, nothing. He did nothing. Robson, although a laywer, was a con artist.

After I discovered Robson had been messing me about, I put in a complaint to the Law Society of Scotland against him - and guess what ?

They struck him off for ignoring some 50 letters from the Law Society itself asking for reports on his work - but the Law Society and the Complaints Committee fiddled the complaint so that I would get no compensation for what he did to me, and how he ruined my case.

To try and clear up the mess of what Robson did - I asked David Reid - another lawyer I had worked with in the past, to take the case on.
Guess what he did ? Yes, that`s right - Nothing.

Actually, David Reid did just what Robson did. He pretended he was doing work on my case - sent me legal aid claim forms to sign, said he was sending letters seeking recovery of medical records, etc ... but it was all a lie. Mr David Reid - of Messrs Morrisons Solicitors, then of Campbell Smith WS, Edinburgh - was just a liar.

What did David Reid do when I discovered what he had been up to ?

He took a stress break - That is - He claimed he was suffering from stress and left his job - and all his clients, including me, in the lurch.

What did Campbell Smith Solicitors do ? They dumped me as a client - all so easily done, it looked like part of a wider plan, which was correct.

I was of course, forced to file a complaint against Mr Reid`s actions with the Law Society of Scotland - but they inevitably cleared him of any blame, despite me submitting a full file of letter and email correspondence, showing that Reid was a consistent liar and a fraud, faking up legal aid applications, deceiving me as to what he was doing, etc .. .

Why did the Law Society of Scotland fiddle the complaint and make sure I couldn`t do anything about David Reid ?

Well, the Law Society knew I couldn`t get any lawyer to take a case on against him - and the Society has a great way of making sure that happens - by ordering all their members not to represent anyone who is seen as trouble to the legal profession - and that certainly includes me, Peter Cherbi.

What is David Reid doing now ? He is a Law Accountant. That means - he must be a member of The Society of Law Accountants in Scotland -

So, David Reid - a solicitor of many years, who lied his way out of dealing with client cases and is really, just a thief and a crook with no shame at all, is now `auditing` legal firms bills to clients for work done.
I definitely wouldn`t trust Mr Reid - a lawyer who lied and deceived clients on work in their cases, to audit client accounts, would you ?

That`s like trusting a known burglar with the keys to your house. Would anyone do that ? Probably not. So you better be asking who is the Law Accountant who is auditing your legal bills ... is it a crooked lawyer such as David Reid ?

Another problem with my negligence action against the Borders General Hospital over what happened to my mum, was that I needed legal aid to proceed it - and as the article today in the Sunday Herald shows - legal aid is very hard to get in such cases - because, at least from my experience, the Scottish Legal Aid Board - are probably just as or even more crooked as the people the action was leveled against. Make enemies at SLAB, and the legal profession - and they make sure your legal aid is terminated - no messin !

Balfour & Manson Solicitors, Edinburgh, crop up again in the article - to chastise the returns of legal aid payments in such medical negligence cases - but my own experience of Balfour & Manson is well known in the legal profession - They actually took on my case after David Reid messed it up for the second time, but they wrote a report to clear Reid of any blame - amazingly it seems, on orders of the Law Society of Scotland, who asked to be kept informed of all my correspondence to them. So, Law Society wins again ... and Balfour & Manson prove they are just another firm of crooked lawyers - which you should be wary of.

Something I discovered along the way when I was trying to sue the negligent Borders General Hospital, was that the insurers who provide Professional Negligence Insurance to the legal profession - also provide negligence cover to the medical profession.

That`s a bit of a conflict of interest, isnt`t it ? Well - yes and no.

It`s just good business on the part of the insurers - because they are allowed to do this of course, and they can make sure the lawyers who take the case on, mess the client about for years, so the insurance never needs to pay out - and that is one of the main reasons why a lot of medical negligence cases actually fail in Scotland.

Pity that some people don`t dig deep enough to find that one out ? ... but even if it is exposed as the big con that it is - who would do something about it ?

The same insurance firm has deals insuring manh other public services against negligence and other claims from the public or even their own workers ... so .. nothing would be done really .. but it should make a few good headlines I suppose.

At the end of the article - it is reported that the Scottish Executive claimed said an expert group had concluded that it “offered little value for money and ignored accountability and quality of care”... and then they made sure that Scotland would be excluded from the "Redress Bill" because "due to differences in levels of compensation and legal fees paid in Scotland, where, historically, the number of claims made and amount paid out was lower than the rest of the UK" - but that`s because the cases are being fiddled by lawyers, the medical profession, the insurers - who are all lobbying against change for the benefit of the public in medical negligence claims and of course, don`t forget the Legal Aid Board - who are just as ambivolent to such cases as ever.

Guess who the expert group were ? - full of lawyers, medical professionals insured by the same firms who insure the lawyers ... what a gang ! - making sure that everything goes their own way .. and what does the Scottish Executive do ? they go right along with it.

Read on for the article, from the Sunday Herald - defintely Scotlands finest Sunday Newspaper. at :

Legal red-tape deters medical blunder cases
By Judith Duffy, Health Correspondent

MORE than 2000 claims of negligence against NHS hospitals in Scotland have been filed by patients in the past five years.

New figures have also revealed that fewer than one in five of the cases of alleged medical blunders have been settled, with the remainder withdrawn, abandoned due to costs or still in progress.

The highest number of claims during the period was at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, with 123 cases filed against it. The Western Infirmary and Gartnavel General in Glasgow together settled most cases, with a total of 27.

Despite fears of a growing “compensation culture”, the statistics show the number of claims filed has fallen by almost 20%, from 445 in 2001 to 361 last year. But campaigners say that difficulties in getting legal aid and a lack of specialist solicitors is hindering many victims north of the Border from seeking compensation. Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) a charity which helps patients seek redress against negligent doctors, said he was “not surprised” by the drop in cases.

He said: “I suspect it has nothing to do with improving standards, but has more to do with severe difficulties in accessing justice in medical negligence in Scotland.

“Medical negligence is a difficult enough thing to get to the bottom of in any part of the UK, but it is made far worse in Scotland by the fact legal aid is so difficult to come by. Consequently the number of specialist solicitors able to give assistance is very small indeed.”

That view was backed by Fred Tyler, a solicitor with Balfour & Manson, a firm which specialises in medical negligence. He said: “If you win, you recover costs from the other side and the recovery may be quite reasonable, but if you have to claim against the legal aid board in the event of failure then the return is very poor and it really is not profitable.”

Another problem, according to Tyler, is that many patients do not qualify for legal aid, which is often needed to pay for investigations that would provide medical evidence to support their claim .

In England and Wales, a system which would allow minor claims to be settled out of court is being introduced. It is hoped the NHS Redress Bill will speed up the process and free up cash for the NHS to spend on patients, not lawyers.

But others advocate a “no-fault” compensation scheme, similar to those operated in Sweden and New Zealand.

The SNP, which obtained the new statistics , has called for such a system to be introduced. The party says nearly half of cases in Scotland take more than three years to settle, leaving the NHS with an annual legal bill of nearly £2 million.

SNP MSP Shona Robison said: “We believe a no-fault system will be fairer, quicker and make better use of taxpayers’ money. No-fault is not just about compensation, it’s about learning from errors so we can build a stronger NHS.”

Despite the British Medical Association supporting a no-fault scheme , a Scottish Executive spokeswoman said an expert group had concluded that it “offered little value for money and ignored accountability and quality of care”. It had been agreed that Scotland would not be covered by the Redress Bill due to differences in levels of compensation and legal fees paid in Scotland, where, historically, the number of claims made and amount paid out was lower than the rest of the UK, she added.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which runs the Western and Gartnavel, said the number of claims made had “not changed significantly” in recent years.


LJ said...

Legal aid is surely now a must. There could be hundreds if not more people who desperately need to contact Medical Negligence Solicitors and just can't because of a lack of legal aid. Has the situation changed at all?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.