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Government to establish Expert Group for resolving clinical negligence claims

The decision was made at Cabinet earlier today. The Group will be chaired by High Court Judge, Mr Justice Charles Meenan. It will provide an interim report after three months and a final report within a six month timeframe from its establishment date. 

Minister Simon Harris said “This Group will examine how we can deal more sensitively and in a more timely fashion with catastrophic birth injuries, certain vaccine damage claims, and claims where there is no dispute about liability from the outset. The Group will also examine whether an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, or a no fault system, would be effective in some cases. This follows on from a commitment in the Programme for Partnership Government. 

”This Group will examine tort law as it currently applies to personal injuries arising in the healthcare context and consider options for reform of relevant tort law.  It will also examine whether clinical claims management systems are adequate and whether there may be an alternative mechanism by which claims could be managed and determined more efficiently and effectively from the perspective of the person who has made the claim and the culture of patient safety.”   

”This is a very important piece of work for patients and the whole health service and I look forward to receiving the group’s findings and recommendations.” 

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