iii) Some of the statements made by supporters of the Bill (although not by DH) during the consultation period were misleading but received much publicity.
ii) It was evident, for example at the fourth consultation event, that the drafting of the Bill under consideration had changed during the consultation process, but a new draft was not made available to all with an interest.
i) It was misleading to include figures showing the growth in clinical negligence claims in the NHS without making clear what proportion of this, if any, was attributable to innovation.
A fundamental issue with this Bill is that, in a way that is similar to the pre-Bolitho legal position, it assumes that the doctor’s analysis and decisions are correct. There is nothing included within to protect patients from overconfident doctors or those whose reasoning is flawed. Moreover, it does little to protect patients – which in a post-Francis Report atmosphere…
Lord Saatchi has a name that is associated with advertising and the media. The media currently (possibly at the behest of the Government) is beating a drum that sends out a message suggesting that doctors live in perpetual fear of litigation. It is not clear where this information has come from. There is no statistical or empirical evidence to back…
In our experience, doctors are not deterred from innovation by the possibility of litigation. Current case law provides protection to doctors for any treatment they give which would be supported by a responsible body of medical opinion.
In any case there is no need for this Bill. It is a hammer to crack a non-existent nut. Worse, to use a colloquialism, it could encourage nuts – whacky, foolish and even unscrupulous practitioners – which, where patient safety is concerned, would be scandalous.
However, this Bill almost wholly misses the point. It is stuck in a nineteenth century concept of medical practice before ideas of evidence-based or even socialised medicine had taken hold. Innovation is so poorly defined in the Bill that it would open the door to all sorts of misconduct. Indeed, under the guise of innovation it would entrench old-fashioned malpractice and quackery.