Undercover Surveillance on Clinical Negligence Claimants on the Rise

Undercover Surveillance on Clinical Negligence Claimants on the Rise

Posted on 3rd October 2017

The use of private detectives to follow potential Claimants who sue the NHS for compensation is on the rise. A record of 55 surveillance operations were authorised in 2016 – 2017 up from 24 in 2013 -2014.

The purpose of obtaining the covert surveillance evidence in Clinical Negligence Claims is to attempt to show that the Claimant’s injuries or on-going disabilities are less than what they are claiming, or that they are inconsistent with the Claimant’s evidence.  So obtaining surveillance evidence is an additional expense being incurred by the NHS (the Government) to try and avoid paying out on Claims even where they accept that the patient received negligence treatment. In some cases the NHS can then apply to the Court to have the claim struck out on the basis of the Claimant’s apparent dishonesty.

A High Court ruling last year in the case of Hayden v Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust allowed the Hospital to rely on surveillance evidence despite the fact it had only been sent to the Claimant shortly before Trial and therefore amounted to an ambush. The rationale behind this decision was that the surveillance footage will be allowed if the overall interest of justice favourite its admission even is it necessitates a Trial date to be vacated.

In the age of social media, we are also seeing that Defendants will trawl a Claimant’s social media to attempt to find anything which could be damaging to the Claimant’s case.

Surveillance evidence has been an Insurance Industry tactic for many years, but it is concerning that cash strapped NHS Trusts are beginning to spend their budgets on this sort of thing – rather than patient care or compensating patients following their own mistakes.

GMS Law Succeed where other Norwich Firm Failed

Posted on 24th August 2017

GMS Law Succeed where other Norwich Firm Failed

Richard Clegg, Director and Head of the Commercial Litigation Department, has recently settled a Professional Negligence Claim for Stephen Leigh, local builder. Mr Leigh initially took forward his Claim through other Solicitors – who would not take the case forward on a No Win No Fee basis. Mr Leigh was therefore in a position whereby he had paid thousands of pounds to his Solicitor and also a thousand pounds to a Barrister, but despite the Solicitor and the Barrister thinking that Mr Leigh had a viable Claim, they would not take the case forward for him – leaving Mr Leigh out of pocket and with a Claim that he should win but was not able to take forward.

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Snap Election Benefits Claimants

Posted on 23rd May 2017

Snap Election Benefits ClaimantsSnap election photo

The current Conservative Government has been on a relentless drive to reduce the amount of costs paid by Defendants to Claimants in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Claims.

You may wonder why the Government is so obsessed with reducing the innocent and injured in favour of the persons who have negligently caused those injuries.

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Justice achieved for the late Stanley Schaufler

Posted on 5th April 2017

Justice achieved for the late Stanley Schaufler Stanley Schaufler image

We are thrilled to report that justice has been achieved for local man, the late Mr Stanley Schaufler. Our Clients fought tirelessly to honour their father’s name and seek justice for him after he was exposed to asbestos whilst working as a boiler man at a Prison.

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General Motors Fined £120,000.00 for Breaching Health and Safety Laws

Posted on 14th March 2017

General Motors Fined £120,000.00 for Breaching Health and Safety LawsHealth & Safety Laws

General Motors UK Limited, based in Bedfordshire have pleaded guilty to a single breach of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £120,000.00 and ordered to pay prosecution costs.

It transpired that there were no risk assessments undertaken by General Motors in relation to the asbestos on site and therefore, contractors were carrying out refurbishment work without the correct safety measures in place. (more…)

Asbestos Claims rise to over £10million from Exposure in School Buildings!

Posted on 6th December 2016

Asbestos Claims rise to over £10million from Exposure in School Buildings!

Asbestos in Schools

BBC news have uncovered that over the last 10 years, 32 councils have settled claims in relation to asbestos exposure in schools. Former teachers, maintenance workers, school staff and pupils have been exposed to deadly asbestos fibres and brought claims against various schools leading to pay-outs rising to at least 10 million pounds.

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90% of Cancer Patients Face Avoidable Delays

Posted on 14th October 2016

90% of Cancer Patients Face Avoidable Delays 90% cancer patients image

Unfortunately cancer is a word we hear frequently these days. Cancer Research UK statistics state the lifetime risk is 1 in 2 for people born after 1960. Males have the highest lifetime risk of prostate, lung and bowel cancer and women have the highest risk of breast, lung and bowel cancer. (more…)

GMS LAW Continue Sponsorship of Professional Boxing in Norwich

Posted on 27th September 2016

 

Nathan Dale

Nathan Dale Norwich Boxer

GMS LAW Continue Sponsorship of Professional Boxing in Norwich

GMS LAW were proud to continue their Sponsorship of Professional Boxing here in Norwich at The Halls on 16th September 2016.

The Venue

The venue is an historic 14th Century Church which has been converted into an impressive venue – and the boxing itself lived up to the task. (more…)

Don’t Be Afraid To Talk To A Solicitor

Posted on 20th September 2016

Don’t Be Afraid To Talk To A Solicitor

A recent survey by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed some surprising results about the reluctance of most of us to take advice when they have a legal problem. The results of the poll are staggering, being:

  • 79% of individuals with a legal problem do not obtain professional help from regulated providers.
  • 83% of small businesses with a legal problem do not obtain professional help from regulated providers

Reluctant to speak to a Solicitor

What is perhaps the most surprising aspect of these results is that the people questioned clearly knew they had a legal problem – but were nevertheless reluctant to speak to a Solicitor about it.

For my part, it is difficult to see any situation whereby a person with a legal problem should not speak to a Solicitor about it. By all means speak to a trusted family member or friend – but even then there is no reason why you should not telephone a Solicitor to run these discussions by them.

By way of example, most people know about the “3 years to claim”, but that does not apply to any contractual problem – where you have 6 years to take forward a Claim, or to any Breach of Trust Claim – where there is, in effect, no limitation date. It does not even apply to many Personal Injury Claims.

So if you were exposed to Asbestos 30 years ago, but are only now suffering from symptoms, then your Claim will still be within the “3 years to claim” period, even though the negligent exposure was 30 years ago.

Or if you had an operation 10 years ago but you have only now found out that the operation itself was done negligently – then again you have 3 years from now to take forward your Clinical Negligence Claim.

There are many instances whereby what a family member or friend has told you is correct – but at the same time it may only be half correct.

My advice

My advice to anyone who has a legal problem is simple – telephone a Solicitor. So long as you find a Solicitor who does either a free initial consultation (whereby you do not pay for the first half an hour) or, even better, offers a No Win No Fee service (whereby you do not pay at all) then there is absolutely no reason why anyone with a legal problem should not make that first telephone call about their potential Claim.

So to paraphrase a well known soft drinks company – what’s the worst that can happen? If you make that phone call then the worst that can happen is that you are reassured that you do not have a Claim – but at least you will know for certain. Indeed, the worst that can happen is that you have a Legal Claim but you do not talk to a Solicitor about it, therefore, you do not obtain the legal remedy that you are entitled to.

Richard Clegg, Senior Solicitor

For free advice make that call to our Freephone number 0800 0463 272 or contact us via email at admin@gmslaw.co.uk

Richard Clegg Head of Commercial Litigation team and Personal Injury team.

East of England Ambulance Pilot Scheme Fails

Posted on 25th August 2016

Pilot Scheme Fails image

East of England Ambulance Pilot Scheme Fails

 

There has been a lot of publicity in the press recently about the serious failing by paramedics and GPs who took part in the East of England Ambulance Service Trust Trial.

 

Mr Frere-Smith was one of three patients who died following the trial, the inquest was told. A fourth required intensive care.

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