In Wales we have seen a fundamental change in the way that patient’s concerns about the health service are handled. The NHS Redress Measure came into force on the 1 April 2011 and is known as “Putting Things Right”. The new arrangements introduce one system which will deal with both a complaint and a legal claim in cases where compensation is less than £25,000.00.
At Hugh James we have a dedicated Health Law and Redress team headed by Mari Rosser, who is a partner at Hugh James and head of the medical negligence department, and is a key member of the consultation team for the Welsh Government in relation to the implementation of NHS Redress – Putting Things Right.
If you have a concern regarding your treatment or treatment received by a loved one and want to make a complaint our dedicated Redress Team can advise and support you.
If you have already raised a concern regarding treatment and require advice on compensation offered by the NHS or advise on bringing a legal action following completion of the NHS Redress scheme we can help you.
Hugh James’ Redress Team will make the whole process as simple as possible for you and will provide you with regular updates throughout your case.
If you need more information on Putting Things Right please see our frequently asked questions.
How do I enter a case into the Redress/Putting Things Right scheme to be investigated?
The first step is to raise a concern with the NHS body which will trigger the putting things right scheme. This can be raised in writing, electronically (via email, fax or text) or verbally.
What is a “concern”?
A concern is any complaint, claim or reported patient safety incident.
When do I need to raise a concern?
A concern needs to be raised no later than 12 months from the date on which the incident you are complaining about occurred or if later 12 months from which the person raising the concern realised they had a concern. There may be grounds to allow a concern to be raised outside this 12 month period and Hugh James’s Redress Team can help with this.
What is a qualifying liability in tort?
A qualifying liability in tort essential means showing that you have a legal claim for medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence, for which you would have to succeed in proving both breach of duty and causation.
Breach of duty is whether the treatment you have received has fallen below the acceptable standard of care. The legal test is whether the treatment provided to you would have been provided by any responsible body of medical practitioners.
It is not a question of whether you should have been provided with the best care possible but whether you have been provided with care that would be deemed to be sub-standard or below the acceptable level of care.
Causation is a question of whether but for the breach of duty you would have suffered an injury. We would have to prove that on the balance of probabilities you would have been better off had the breach of duty not occurred. This can often be a very difficult issue in medical negligence cases as most people have already suffered some sort of injury or condition before they receive the medical treatment and so it is an issue as to whether the medical treatment has made matters worse.
Our Redress Team can advise you further on this.
What is “redress”?
Under the scheme an offer of redress can be an apology, remedial treatment or compensation up to £25,000.00.
Can I still raise a concern if I think my injury is valued at more than £25,000?
You can still raise a concern which will be investigated by the NHS body under the Putting Things Right scheme but you will need to bring a separate action for compensation. If you are concerned about the value of your potential clam we can advise you on this. Hugh James is one of the largest medical negligence teams in the United Kingdom and the biggest in Wales. We have experienced solicitors who will be able to advise you further.
Please contact the Redress Team for further advice.
What will I need to pay for legal advice?
If it has been established that there is a qualifying liability in tort then you are entitled to free legal advice from a few select specialist firms which includes Hugh James.
If you are not eligible for free legal advice but would like further advice on your case please contact the Redress Team and we will be able to advise you about the variety of funding options available at Hugh James. This initial consultation is free.
Do I need a solicitor to raise a concern under Putting Things Right/Redress?
If you have a concern to raise you may do so yourself without a solicitor. The free legal advice provision only applies if there is a qualifying liability so free legal advice may not be available from the outset.
Hugh James will provide a free initial assessment and advice and is willing to offer legal advice and assistance in some cases throughout the process without charge. Please contact the Redress Team to discuss further.
Alternatively the Community Health Council is also able to support you through your concern. The Community Health Council is a statutory body set up as the watchdogs for the NHS in Wales and offer an advocacy service which may be able to help you.
Please contact the Redress Team for contact details.
Where can I get more information?
Contact the Redress Team for further information or queries. Alternatively you may find the following websites useful: