Change VED to insurance

Scrap VED on private cars. Introduce a basic third-party injury insurance cost based on car/risk profile.

Investigate a simil;ar approach to commercial vehicles (not so clear as I write this)

Why is this idea important?

Scrap VED on private cars. Introduce a basic third-party injury insurance cost based on car/risk profile.

Investigate a simil;ar approach to commercial vehicles (not so clear as I write this)

Sort Out and/or Get Rid of/Replace the Current NHS Complaints Procedure, NHS Redress Act 2006, Personal Injury/Medical Negligence Laws etc

The 2006 NHS Redress Act was intended to offer patients a quicker and fairer alternative to expensive and lengthy legal battles.  However the Dept of Health has failed to produce the necessary secondary legislation to make it operational as per newspaper reports in Aug/Sept 2009.  thus the Act is totally unworkable in England, meanwhile in Scotland and Wales they are working hard upon it, it is reported!

Both lawyers, medical professionals, Parliamentary Health Select Committee and patient safety campaigners have severely criticised the failure, some saying they are "dismayed" others describing it as "appalling".

This Act in it's Statement of Policy in 2006 stated:

7.    The key policy drivers for the proposed reforms are:

i)   the current system is perceived to be complex and slow

ii)   the current system is costly both in terms of legal fees and diverting clinical staff  from  clinical care; there is a negative effect on NHS staff morale and on public confidence;

iii)   patients are dissatisfied with the lack of explanations and apologies or reassurance that action has been taken to prevent the same incident happening to another patient; and

iv)   the system is said to encourage defensiveness and secrecty in the NHS, which stands in the way of learning and improvement in the health service.

8.   The NHS Redress Bill took forward recommendation 1 from Making Amends from earlier bills in the early 2000's:

"an NHS Redress "Scheme" should be introduced to provide investigations when things go wrong, remedial treatment, rehabilitation and care when needed; explanations and apologies; and financial compensation in certain circumstances",

9.   The Bill provides for a more consistent and open response to patients when things go wrong with their NHS Hospital care, placing the emphasis on putting things right for them.  It will promote learning and improvement in the NHS, and provide the impetus for wider service improvement.

10.  …….The NHS Redress Scheme will help local organisations to deliver improved response to their patients……Providers will investigate when something may have gone wrong with a patient's care, with a view to both putting things right for that individual patient, and learning from that patient's experience to improve the quality and safety of future care…..

11.   The Bill will provide a genuine alternative to litigation for less severe cases where there is a qualifying liability in tort arising out of hospital treatment, removing the risk and cost of litigation from the patient.  The scheme will aim to address the delays that are inherent in the current system and help reduce the general burden of litigation costs (which cost the NHS nearly half a billion pounds every year)………….

I will not continue to replicate all the 24 pages and points in this policy document and Act – you can look on www.dh.gov.uk www.parliamentuk/publications or www.opsi.gov.uk/acts  for full information.

 

The Redress Act 2006 needs redressing itself.  The routes now for loging a complaint against the NHS are inherently flawed to the advantage of the NHS not the suffering patient.  None of the above has happened.  Due to its ineffectiveness patients are still left to deal with more negative NHS staff who adopt a protectionalist attitude towards colleagues at the slightest indication that something may have gone wrong, and these injured patients are left with no thorough investigations and or treatments and are put at risk.  Patients still not being given an explanation and apologies or reassurance that action will be taken for them or to prevent the same incident happening to others.

The Complaints Procedure does not speed things up, instead creates delays causing medical professionals to effectively down tools upon the care and treatment of a patient. PALS and ICAS those bodies that are available to help patients with their complaints and provide advice how to negotiate the NHS Complaints Procedure are not independent advisors (they are funded by the Department of Health), they also cannot give advise to you but only assist you stating "it is your complaint"?  The main thing anyone in this situation needs is sound advice and help, as you are so ill anyway to be dealing with more stresses and pressures upon you.

The Government needs to go back to the initial piece of legislation raised with regard to time limits upon having to lodge a legal claim in court for Personal Injury and Medical/Clinical Negligence and change it from the current 3 years to at least 8-10 years.  Thus ensuring that both public and private sector organisations cannot continue to procrastinate via a one sided slow inept complaints procedure.  Forcing the NHS to take it's responsibilities of Duty of Care seriously and suffer the consequences for it's negligent acts, preventing them in effect escaping their liability and responsibilities via a Time Loophole in the Law by passing a patient around like a parcel and sending them for irrelevant tests and investigations or none at all! so they can avoid giving the patient a diagnosis never mind a reason for their current problem. As solicitors (that includes no win no fee) will not take on a case of negligence without a diagnosis, therefore, it is obviously in the NHS's favour to not provide one until it is too late for someone to take Legal Action, never mind 3 years of living hell, immense distress and pain to the injured party.

 

Why is this idea important?

The 2006 NHS Redress Act was intended to offer patients a quicker and fairer alternative to expensive and lengthy legal battles.  However the Dept of Health has failed to produce the necessary secondary legislation to make it operational as per newspaper reports in Aug/Sept 2009.  thus the Act is totally unworkable in England, meanwhile in Scotland and Wales they are working hard upon it, it is reported!

Both lawyers, medical professionals, Parliamentary Health Select Committee and patient safety campaigners have severely criticised the failure, some saying they are "dismayed" others describing it as "appalling".

This Act in it's Statement of Policy in 2006 stated:

7.    The key policy drivers for the proposed reforms are:

i)   the current system is perceived to be complex and slow

ii)   the current system is costly both in terms of legal fees and diverting clinical staff  from  clinical care; there is a negative effect on NHS staff morale and on public confidence;

iii)   patients are dissatisfied with the lack of explanations and apologies or reassurance that action has been taken to prevent the same incident happening to another patient; and

iv)   the system is said to encourage defensiveness and secrecty in the NHS, which stands in the way of learning and improvement in the health service.

8.   The NHS Redress Bill took forward recommendation 1 from Making Amends from earlier bills in the early 2000's:

"an NHS Redress "Scheme" should be introduced to provide investigations when things go wrong, remedial treatment, rehabilitation and care when needed; explanations and apologies; and financial compensation in certain circumstances",

9.   The Bill provides for a more consistent and open response to patients when things go wrong with their NHS Hospital care, placing the emphasis on putting things right for them.  It will promote learning and improvement in the NHS, and provide the impetus for wider service improvement.

10.  …….The NHS Redress Scheme will help local organisations to deliver improved response to their patients……Providers will investigate when something may have gone wrong with a patient's care, with a view to both putting things right for that individual patient, and learning from that patient's experience to improve the quality and safety of future care…..

11.   The Bill will provide a genuine alternative to litigation for less severe cases where there is a qualifying liability in tort arising out of hospital treatment, removing the risk and cost of litigation from the patient.  The scheme will aim to address the delays that are inherent in the current system and help reduce the general burden of litigation costs (which cost the NHS nearly half a billion pounds every year)………….

I will not continue to replicate all the 24 pages and points in this policy document and Act – you can look on www.dh.gov.uk www.parliamentuk/publications or www.opsi.gov.uk/acts  for full information.

 

The Redress Act 2006 needs redressing itself.  The routes now for loging a complaint against the NHS are inherently flawed to the advantage of the NHS not the suffering patient.  None of the above has happened.  Due to its ineffectiveness patients are still left to deal with more negative NHS staff who adopt a protectionalist attitude towards colleagues at the slightest indication that something may have gone wrong, and these injured patients are left with no thorough investigations and or treatments and are put at risk.  Patients still not being given an explanation and apologies or reassurance that action will be taken for them or to prevent the same incident happening to others.

The Complaints Procedure does not speed things up, instead creates delays causing medical professionals to effectively down tools upon the care and treatment of a patient. PALS and ICAS those bodies that are available to help patients with their complaints and provide advice how to negotiate the NHS Complaints Procedure are not independent advisors (they are funded by the Department of Health), they also cannot give advise to you but only assist you stating "it is your complaint"?  The main thing anyone in this situation needs is sound advice and help, as you are so ill anyway to be dealing with more stresses and pressures upon you.

The Government needs to go back to the initial piece of legislation raised with regard to time limits upon having to lodge a legal claim in court for Personal Injury and Medical/Clinical Negligence and change it from the current 3 years to at least 8-10 years.  Thus ensuring that both public and private sector organisations cannot continue to procrastinate via a one sided slow inept complaints procedure.  Forcing the NHS to take it's responsibilities of Duty of Care seriously and suffer the consequences for it's negligent acts, preventing them in effect escaping their liability and responsibilities via a Time Loophole in the Law by passing a patient around like a parcel and sending them for irrelevant tests and investigations or none at all! so they can avoid giving the patient a diagnosis never mind a reason for their current problem. As solicitors (that includes no win no fee) will not take on a case of negligence without a diagnosis, therefore, it is obviously in the NHS's favour to not provide one until it is too late for someone to take Legal Action, never mind 3 years of living hell, immense distress and pain to the injured party.

 

Get rid of Personal injury compensation laws and rights for burglars

My idea is to remove personal injury compensation laws in the UK.  If someone is seriously injured at work due to a fault that can be proven to be with the company involved then surely that individual can sue the company concerned.  The Personal Injury industry has in part turned this country into a state more concerned about how much they get from an accident than not having one in the first place

I think removing the law from the public sector would be the best method rather than removing them ad infinitum. 

Why is this idea important?

My idea is to remove personal injury compensation laws in the UK.  If someone is seriously injured at work due to a fault that can be proven to be with the company involved then surely that individual can sue the company concerned.  The Personal Injury industry has in part turned this country into a state more concerned about how much they get from an accident than not having one in the first place

I think removing the law from the public sector would be the best method rather than removing them ad infinitum. 

Change the Law of Assault

The Assault laws should be repealed and replaced with more reasonable legislation that takes into account modern life. To be charged with Assault you should have to have caused deliberate or pre meditated physical injury to another person and you should be completely free from arrest and charge if you were acting in defence of yourself or acting to stop someone who you believed had committed an act of anti social behaviour or a crime.

Why is this idea important?

The Assault laws should be repealed and replaced with more reasonable legislation that takes into account modern life. To be charged with Assault you should have to have caused deliberate or pre meditated physical injury to another person and you should be completely free from arrest and charge if you were acting in defence of yourself or acting to stop someone who you believed had committed an act of anti social behaviour or a crime.

A Defence of Personal Injury Laws

 

It is important to bear in mind the following data when considering attacking personal injury laws on the basis of an alleged compensation culture. It is often exaggerated, and hopefully the following data can undermine such allegations.

 

The Empirical Evidence for a Compensation Culture

 

(a) Claim Rate

 

The greatest problem in establishing the claim rate is the absence of systematic long-term surveys. As Lewis et al explain, there has been “no comprehensive empirical investigation of the system” since ‘the Oxford Survey’. However, the Pearson Commission of 1978 is of some use. It approximated that there were 250,000 claims for personal injury in the United Kingdom that year.

 

In 1988, the Civil Justice Review approximated the annual level of negligence claims at 340,000. Although this shows substantial rise, Morris points out that “there is no information… as to how it was obtained”. Moreover, according to Lewis et al, it was “very small-scale and paid disproportionate attention to tried cases”.

 

It can be inferred that although no comprehensive long-term data can be determined, the Pearson Commission can act as a yardstick from which to ascertain subsequent developments. Thus, the contemporary figures, which will be analysed next, can be extrapolated from the Pearson Commission to deduce a certain trend. However, this remains to some extent doubtful, because even if a broad trend can be identified, it cannot be very precise. Furthermore, its lack of certainty adds little weight to the assertion that a compensation culture exists.

 

Nevertheless, substantial evidence accrues from 1998 which may provide an answer to the question of whether compensation culture is a real problem. The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), which collects social security benefits back from those who receive compensation, and therefore records the number of negligence claims, ended its exemption from notification of small claims that year. Lewis et al argue that this holds “the most comprehensive and reliable data on the number of current personal injury claims”. The CRU’s responsiveness, together with the public interest in precision on the numbers acquired in order for resources not to be wasted, gives force to this assertion.

 

In 1998, there were 705,232 claims. This indicates almost a tripling in the claim rate between 1973 and 1998. However, after this period of relative increase, the statistics do not continue to reveal an upward trend, but stagnate:

 

2000/1: 735,931

2001/2: 688,315

2002/3: 706,697

2003/4: 770,243

2004/5: 755,875

 

This represents a 2.7% rise over 5 years, compared with an average 38.8% rise per 5-year period between 1973 and 1998. Thus, a plateau appears to have been reached.

 

Furthermore, accident claims (as opposed to all negligence claims) have actually reduced in this period:

 

2000/1: 612,120

2001/2: 614,126

2002/3: 615,546

2003/4: 557,186

2004/5: 579,282

 

This reversed trend – of a 5% fall in accident claims – counters the view that the issue is accelerating quickly; indeed, accident claims are reducing in number.

 

It is necessary to briefly consider more specific sectors of claims, which highlights which areas which are more susceptible to claims. If the above set of accident claims is divided up, the following trends are apparent:

2000/1: 612,120

2001/2: 614,126

2002/3: 615,546

2003/4: 557,186

2004/5: 579,282

With the exception of motor claims, every other sector has seen statistical falls. Employer’s claims have fallen by 21%, public liability claims by 7% and medical claims by 34%. Miscellaneous claims have fallen by 43%. Thus the overall 5% decline in accident claims is obscured by motor claims. As they represent 70% of all accident claims, and over half (53%) of all negligence claims, they appear to prevent the overall figure from dropping in the same manner that the other categories fall by.

 

As Williams point out, Datamonitor can provide an alternative insight into recent statistics. It puts the 2000/01 overall claim levels at 744,060; followed by a 7.4% fall to 689,000 in 2001/02; followed by a 2.6% increase to 706,914 in 2002/03 (due to an increase on disease claims bucking the generic trend of decline). They are very similar to those shown by the CRU, and thus lend support to the CRU figures.

 

Clinical negligence statistics provided by the NHS replicate this trend, continuing up to the latest figures from 2009. There were 6,932 claims in 1997/8, falling to 6,257 by 2003/04, 5,470 by 2007/8, and 6,080 in 2008/9, never rising above 7,215 (in 2002/03).

 

(b) Propensity to Claim

 

Another element of compensation culture is the individual likelihood, or propensity, to claim. This could be established by examining the claim rate relative to the rate of negligent injury. Morris suggests that the propensity to claim increased in the last three decades of the 20th century. She points to the traffic-related injuries, where claims rose despite casualties not increasing. Furthermore, clinical negligence claims rose 100-fold between the Pearson Committee and the new century, despite accidents not increasing.

 

However, she also notes that the propensity to claim for clinical negligence remains low: at 2% of all negligent events resulting in injury. Moreover, the overall propensity to sue has remained “relatively stable” since 2000, or potentially since 1997-8. Furthermore, these statistics cannot convey the worthiness of the claims. It cannot be assumed that there has necessarily been a rise in unmeritorious claims.

 

An Ipsos MORI poll in 2000 revealed that 72% of people would “consider pursuing a compensation claim if they suffered a personal injury which they felt to be someone else’s fault”. This percentage falls to 57% when the defendant is a school, whilst 48% would feel “concerned at the prospect of taking their doctor or hospital to court”. This may seem high, but it includes people who would only consider claiming, and ultimately, 27% would abstain altogether. As with other categories, there is no such poll from earlier decades in order to show a change, thus reducing the ability to make inferences.

Why is this idea important?

 

It is important to bear in mind the following data when considering attacking personal injury laws on the basis of an alleged compensation culture. It is often exaggerated, and hopefully the following data can undermine such allegations.

 

The Empirical Evidence for a Compensation Culture

 

(a) Claim Rate

 

The greatest problem in establishing the claim rate is the absence of systematic long-term surveys. As Lewis et al explain, there has been “no comprehensive empirical investigation of the system” since ‘the Oxford Survey’. However, the Pearson Commission of 1978 is of some use. It approximated that there were 250,000 claims for personal injury in the United Kingdom that year.

 

In 1988, the Civil Justice Review approximated the annual level of negligence claims at 340,000. Although this shows substantial rise, Morris points out that “there is no information… as to how it was obtained”. Moreover, according to Lewis et al, it was “very small-scale and paid disproportionate attention to tried cases”.

 

It can be inferred that although no comprehensive long-term data can be determined, the Pearson Commission can act as a yardstick from which to ascertain subsequent developments. Thus, the contemporary figures, which will be analysed next, can be extrapolated from the Pearson Commission to deduce a certain trend. However, this remains to some extent doubtful, because even if a broad trend can be identified, it cannot be very precise. Furthermore, its lack of certainty adds little weight to the assertion that a compensation culture exists.

 

Nevertheless, substantial evidence accrues from 1998 which may provide an answer to the question of whether compensation culture is a real problem. The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), which collects social security benefits back from those who receive compensation, and therefore records the number of negligence claims, ended its exemption from notification of small claims that year. Lewis et al argue that this holds “the most comprehensive and reliable data on the number of current personal injury claims”. The CRU’s responsiveness, together with the public interest in precision on the numbers acquired in order for resources not to be wasted, gives force to this assertion.

 

In 1998, there were 705,232 claims. This indicates almost a tripling in the claim rate between 1973 and 1998. However, after this period of relative increase, the statistics do not continue to reveal an upward trend, but stagnate:

 

2000/1: 735,931

2001/2: 688,315

2002/3: 706,697

2003/4: 770,243

2004/5: 755,875

 

This represents a 2.7% rise over 5 years, compared with an average 38.8% rise per 5-year period between 1973 and 1998. Thus, a plateau appears to have been reached.

 

Furthermore, accident claims (as opposed to all negligence claims) have actually reduced in this period:

 

2000/1: 612,120

2001/2: 614,126

2002/3: 615,546

2003/4: 557,186

2004/5: 579,282

 

This reversed trend – of a 5% fall in accident claims – counters the view that the issue is accelerating quickly; indeed, accident claims are reducing in number.

 

It is necessary to briefly consider more specific sectors of claims, which highlights which areas which are more susceptible to claims. If the above set of accident claims is divided up, the following trends are apparent:

2000/1: 612,120

2001/2: 614,126

2002/3: 615,546

2003/4: 557,186

2004/5: 579,282

With the exception of motor claims, every other sector has seen statistical falls. Employer’s claims have fallen by 21%, public liability claims by 7% and medical claims by 34%. Miscellaneous claims have fallen by 43%. Thus the overall 5% decline in accident claims is obscured by motor claims. As they represent 70% of all accident claims, and over half (53%) of all negligence claims, they appear to prevent the overall figure from dropping in the same manner that the other categories fall by.

 

As Williams point out, Datamonitor can provide an alternative insight into recent statistics. It puts the 2000/01 overall claim levels at 744,060; followed by a 7.4% fall to 689,000 in 2001/02; followed by a 2.6% increase to 706,914 in 2002/03 (due to an increase on disease claims bucking the generic trend of decline). They are very similar to those shown by the CRU, and thus lend support to the CRU figures.

 

Clinical negligence statistics provided by the NHS replicate this trend, continuing up to the latest figures from 2009. There were 6,932 claims in 1997/8, falling to 6,257 by 2003/04, 5,470 by 2007/8, and 6,080 in 2008/9, never rising above 7,215 (in 2002/03).

 

(b) Propensity to Claim

 

Another element of compensation culture is the individual likelihood, or propensity, to claim. This could be established by examining the claim rate relative to the rate of negligent injury. Morris suggests that the propensity to claim increased in the last three decades of the 20th century. She points to the traffic-related injuries, where claims rose despite casualties not increasing. Furthermore, clinical negligence claims rose 100-fold between the Pearson Committee and the new century, despite accidents not increasing.

 

However, she also notes that the propensity to claim for clinical negligence remains low: at 2% of all negligent events resulting in injury. Moreover, the overall propensity to sue has remained “relatively stable” since 2000, or potentially since 1997-8. Furthermore, these statistics cannot convey the worthiness of the claims. It cannot be assumed that there has necessarily been a rise in unmeritorious claims.

 

An Ipsos MORI poll in 2000 revealed that 72% of people would “consider pursuing a compensation claim if they suffered a personal injury which they felt to be someone else’s fault”. This percentage falls to 57% when the defendant is a school, whilst 48% would feel “concerned at the prospect of taking their doctor or hospital to court”. This may seem high, but it includes people who would only consider claiming, and ultimately, 27% would abstain altogether. As with other categories, there is no such poll from earlier decades in order to show a change, thus reducing the ability to make inferences.

End “no win, no fee” personal injury litigation

Accidents happen, yet today we are encouraged to look for someone else to blame if we have one, rather than take responsibility for ourselves.

 

"No win, no fee" was introduced because Legal Aid was costing so much, even though personal injury work was a very small part of the total budget. In effect, the Government invited lawyers to devise ways of making money out of cases where there was no guarantee of success. They have done this, but with consequences that no one likes very much. The Government was warned this would happen.

 

Ending Legal Aid for personal injury claims left us in a world where we can apparently get money for nothing and where no connection is ever made between suing a school and a shortage of funds for books, or the banning of a sports day to avoid a lawsuit. Litigation has replaced common sense and taking responsibility for our actions, and, as a result, public bodies such as the NHS, schools, Local Authorities and Network Rail have become highly risk-averse and have curtailed many ordinary everyday activities.

 

We are being constantly bombarded with advertisements by claims management companies and by signs and announcements stating the obvious, e.g. radiators may be hot.

Why is this idea important?

Accidents happen, yet today we are encouraged to look for someone else to blame if we have one, rather than take responsibility for ourselves.

 

"No win, no fee" was introduced because Legal Aid was costing so much, even though personal injury work was a very small part of the total budget. In effect, the Government invited lawyers to devise ways of making money out of cases where there was no guarantee of success. They have done this, but with consequences that no one likes very much. The Government was warned this would happen.

 

Ending Legal Aid for personal injury claims left us in a world where we can apparently get money for nothing and where no connection is ever made between suing a school and a shortage of funds for books, or the banning of a sports day to avoid a lawsuit. Litigation has replaced common sense and taking responsibility for our actions, and, as a result, public bodies such as the NHS, schools, Local Authorities and Network Rail have become highly risk-averse and have curtailed many ordinary everyday activities.

 

We are being constantly bombarded with advertisements by claims management companies and by signs and announcements stating the obvious, e.g. radiators may be hot.

Legal Claim Values

Reduce legal claim values by 95% or more.  At a stroke this will destroy the 'No Win, No Fee' legal aid culture – Lawyers will not offer the service if there is no value in it if they win.  If for example a claim for a sprained ankle due to a pavement trip were to be succesful, and the claimant win £5 instead of £500, the claims would very quickly stop.

Why is this idea important?

Reduce legal claim values by 95% or more.  At a stroke this will destroy the 'No Win, No Fee' legal aid culture – Lawyers will not offer the service if there is no value in it if they win.  If for example a claim for a sprained ankle due to a pavement trip were to be succesful, and the claimant win £5 instead of £500, the claims would very quickly stop.