Hilary Steele, Claims Lead for Republic of Ireland at Medical Protection Society (MPS) said:
“Medical Protection Society (MPS) fully supports the Government’s decision to set up an expert group to look at alternative ways to resolve some clinical negligence claims.
“Our experience dealing with claims worldwide provides us with a unique insight into best practice when resolving clinical disputes. A culture of transparency and sharing of information will lead to earlier resolution of claims.
“MPS has been instrumental in advancing the introduction of a voluntary pre-action protocol with the State Claims Agency and four leading plaintiff clinical negligence firms. We now need the government to finalise a compulsory pre-action protocol to provide a statutory framework for claim resolution without the additional pressure and cost of having to attend and give evidence at Trial.
“There are significant delays in resolving claims through the current court system. MPS would encourage the introduction of specialist judges taking a proactive approach to case management where pre-action resolution has not been possible. Parties should also be actively encouraged to resolve disputes by alternative means such as mediation, which has been shown to be beneficial for both patient and doctor by facilitating discussion and an understanding of events and their impact.”