Margaret Brazier
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Emma Cave
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Malpractice litigation
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The patient wishing to claim clinical negligence faces a number of problems. How can a lawsuit be funded? Which health professional caused the injury? As a result of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), legal aid has been withdrawn for most clinical negligence claims. A radically reformed system for conditional fee agreements (CFAs) became the primary source of funding for clinical negligence claims. But the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) reports high levels of claims that the NHS struggles to bear. Resources are limited and money spent defending claims is money that cannot be spent on healthcare. Are we in the midst of a compensation culture? Are doctors becoming increasingly defensive? The civil litigation system struggles to balance justice to patients and affordability to the NHS.

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