7 April 2022 - Written by Patrick Limb QC

Mediating Clinical Negligence Claims

The NHS in England faces paying out £4.3bn in legal fees to settle outstanding claims of clinical negligence: so reported the BBC in January 2020 following a Freedom of Information Req...

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16 March 2022 - Written by Gareth McAloon

Guidance on Applications for Interim Payments

In complex clinical negligence cases involving substantial damages and an uncertain prognosis, there is often an urgency on the part of claimants to access funds so as to procure immediate needs such as; treatment, care and suitable accommodation. There are two hurdle...

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17 February 2022 - Written by Rachel Young

Causation and Intervening Medical Treatment

As lawyers representing parties in clinical negligence cases, we will often encounter scenarios where the injured party has been involved in a road traffic accident or an accident at work and subsequently seeks medical assistance for the purpose of treating their inju...

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11 February 2022 - Written by Philip Turton

Open Wide: Direct Liability in Dental Practices

It is often the case, in law, that the person who actually commits a tort lacks the means to meet a judgment or otherwise presents as an undesirable Defendant from a Claimant's point of view. The law has long recognised the strong policy reasons behind forms of distri...

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8 February 2022 - Written by Damian Powell

Government Launches Consultation on Proposals for Fixed Recoverable Costs in Lower Value Clinical Negligence Cases

On 31 January 2022 the Department of Health and Social Care published a consultation document setting out its proposals to introduce mandatory fixed recoverable costs and a new "streamlined" process for lower value clinical negligence claims.  ...

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3 February 2022 - Written by Richard Seabrook

Identifying and Proving Breach of Duty Relating to Ambulance Response Time

When you call for an ambulance, you generally want it now. To you, it’s an emergency and an emergency requires an immediate response. The reality of a modern NHS generally and Ambulance Trusts specifically mean that such an e...

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25 January 2022 - Written by Alexandra Pountney

Causation Strikes Again: Dalchow v St George's University NHS Foundation Trust

On 20 January 2022, Hugh Southey QC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) handed down judgment in the case of Dalchow v St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust [2...

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18 January 2022 - Written by Philip Turton & Katie McFarlane

Gaps in Time and Space: Claims for Clinical Negligence by Secondary Victims following Paul v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

A heavyweight Court of Appeal, comprising the Master of the Rolls, the Vice President of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) and Nicola Davies LJ has handed down judgment in the conjoined appeals of ...

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7 December 2021 - Written by Philip Godfrey

Records vs Recollections: HTR v Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

What approach should the court take when there is a fundamental dispute of fact between an individual’s recollection given in witness evidence and contemporaneous medical records? This was the issue in the trial of HTR v Nottingham University Hospitals NHS T...

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11 November 2021 - Written by Jonathan Owen

Castello v Gonschior: The Importance of Choosing the Right Discipline of Expert in Clinical Negligence Claims & the Limitations of Res Ipsa Loquitur

In Castello v Gonschior [2021] EWHC 2742 (QB), Lambert J provides an important reminder of the importance of choosing the right experts and an example of the relevance, or lack of relev...

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2 November 2021 - Written by Rochelle Rong

Limitation in Clinical Negligence Claims

Civil practitioners dealing with personal injury claims are generally familiar with the three-year limitation period imposed by section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980. Put simply, claims for personal injury (whether arising from negligence, nuisance or breach of duty) ...

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26 October 2021 - Written by Thomas Herbert

Material Contribution in the Spotlight (Again) following Thorley v Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

This blog deals with the causation aspects of Thorley v Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 2604 (QB). Ph...

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19 October 2021 - Written by Georgina Cursham

Costs Order Against Dental Expert Who Showed a Flagrant & Reckless Disregard for His Duties to the Court

Having blanked his screen and left the ongoing court proceedings to pick up his son from school, the Claimant’s expert witness in Robinson v (1) Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2) Mercier ...

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12 October 2021 - Written by Philip Godfrey

Breach of Duty and Hospital Guidelines: Thorley v Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 2604 (QB)

This case considered the interplay between hospital guidelines and breach of duty in the clinical negligence setting. In summary, the Court found that: The guideline relied upon by the Claimant did not apply to the procedure...

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22 September 2021 - Written by Tom Carter

Illegality in Clinical Negligence Claims

A man with longstanding mental health issues walks into a pub with a can of petrol and a knife. He proceeds to pour the petrol on himself and says he is going to burn the pub down. The police are called, he is arrested and whilst in police custody, he undergoes a Ment...

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7 September 2021 - Written by Philip Davy

Vicarious Liability and the Non-Delegable Duty in the Context of Dental Negligence Claims: Hughes v Rattan

For several years in the 2000s and 2010s, the law relating to vicarious liability and non-fault liability more generally was 'on the move'. However, in the last couple of years, the case law dealing with non-fault liability has bee...

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14 July 2021 - Written by Nikhil Arora

Secondary Victims: Still Second-Class Claimants?

In King v Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 1576 (QB), the High Court once again demonstrated the difficulties faced by Claimants who suffer psychiatric condi...

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24 June 2021 - Written by Rochelle Rong & Alexandra Pountney

Meadows v Khan in the Supreme Court: Scope of Duty in Clinical Negligence Claims

In Meadows v Khan [2021] UKSC 21, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Ms Meadows' appeal, finding that there was no principled basis for excluding a clinical negligence claim from the ambit of the 'scope of duty principle' in the tort of negligence. The j...

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11 May 2021 - Written by Richard Seabrook

Considerations of Consent, Capacity and Best Interests

Imagine the following scenario. A patient, known to have mental health issues, has been consenting to a proposed or potential course of medical treatment. Then, as the need to embark on that treatment crystalizes and becomes urgent, consent is withdrawn. The treatment...

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29 April 2021 - Written by Patrick Limb QC

Cauda Equina: Tells & Tales About the "Horse's Tail"

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare and severe type of spinal stenosis. A narrowing of the spinal canal causes the nerves in the lower back to become severely compressed. Typically, but not exclusively, it results from a prolapsed disc bulge. The condition requires urgent...

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20 April 2021 - Written by Cassandra Williams

Clinical Negligence Cases: When the Bolam Test Does Not Apply

The law requires medical practitioners to use diligence, care, knowledge, skill and caution in administering treatment to a patient. The question of whether a medical practitioner has met the requisite standard of care is often considered by reference to the test laid...

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12 April 2021 - Written by Edward James

High Court Considers Whether Cardiac Surgery Leading to Re-Do Surgery Was Negligent

In Negus v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 643 (QB), the High Court considered whether an NHS Trust was...

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1 April 2021 - Written by Thomas Herbert

Wrongful Birth, Wrongful Life & Negligence: Considering Toombes v Mitchell

Thomas Herbert's article on Lambert J's decision in Toombes v Mitchell [2020] EWHC 3506 (QB), which considered the correct interpretation of section 1 of the Congenital D...

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17 March 2021 - Written by Christopher Lowe & Alexandra Pountney

Informed Consent: Updated GMC Guidance

The topic of consent has been increasingly contentious since the Supreme Court’s decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] AC 1430, which shifted the focus from Bolam-style clinical paternalism to patient autonomy. ...

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25 February 2021 - Written by Philip Godfrey

Cauda Equina Syndrome and Referrals for Investigations: High Court Rejects Claim for Delayed Scan

In Jarman v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 323 (QB), the Claimant brought a claim against the Defendant hospital for failing to promptly diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome ("CES"). This case is of note for two reasons: ...

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23 February 2021 - Written by Rachel Young & Thomas Herbert

Revisiting the Test of Material Contribution in Clinical Negligence Claims following Davies v Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

In Davies v Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWHC 169 (QB), the High Court considered the question of causation in circumstances where the deceased had suffered from acute pneu...

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19 February 2021 - Written by Cassandra Williams

Fundamental Dishonesty in Clinical Negligence Cases: Unreliable Does Not Necessarily Mean Dishonest

In Brint v Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 290 (QB), HHJ Platts, sitting as a High Court Judge, declined to make a finding of fundamental ...

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17 February 2021 - Written by Philip Godfrey

Non-Delegable Duties of Care and NHS-Funded Private Services

In Hopkins v (1) Akramy (2) Badger Group (3) NHS Commissioning Board [2020] EWHC 3445 (QB), the High Court considered, as a preliminary issue, whether an NHS Primary Care Trust ("P...

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8 February 2021 - Written by Gareth McAloon

'Seconds Out!': Secondary Victim Claims Arising from Clinical Negligence to go to the Court of Appeal

Claims by secondary victims arising from clinical negligence have for many years been a battleground between Claimants and the NHS, particularly where the psychiatric damage that is the subject of the claim occurs many months after the purported breach of duty in...

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26 January 2021 - Written by Shilpa Shah

Interim Payments on Account of Costs in Clinical Negligence Cases

Whilst clinical negligence practitioners are especially accomplished in ensuring that they properly advise their clients to claim an interim payment on account of damages when this best suits their client’s needs, the opportunity of seeking an interim payment on...

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Ropewalk Chambers

For many years we have acted in cases across the spectrum of clinical negligence litigation, ranging from smaller claims arising from dental treatment and minor cosmetic surgery to the most serious cases of birth and catastrophic injury and fatality. The depth of experience in our Clinical Negligence Team allows us to meet all levels of requirement.

Our barristers are highly experienced in group and multi-party actions across a range of clinical negligence and product liability claims.

Sadly, some medical errors result in the death of the patient and we are able to provide expertise in advising and representation at inquests and in subsequent civil claims for damages.

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