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NHS Not a Soft Touch for Claims

When a person is injured through the negligence of another, compensation may be due and, given the complexity of the issues in medicine, it is unsurprising that the NHS pays millions of pounds annually to settle personal injury claims.

But that does not mean that it does not defend claims, and expert and dogged legal assistance is needed to obtain the best outcome. In some cases, however, the availability of compensation leads claimants to exaggerate their symptoms, and the NHS is not beyond instigating criminal action when this amounts to fraud – as a recent case shows.

It involved a woman who claimed more than £2 million from an NHS trust after alleging that a botched vaginal mesh procedure had left her in severe and continuing pain and unable to walk without the use of crutches.

The NHS trust investigated the claims and produced evidence that the woman was able to walk unaided and dance. After the court accepted that the claim was dishonest, the woman was jailed for five months for contempt of court for the lies she had told when giving evidence.

The NHS is not a soft touch for negligence claims and whilst expert legal representation is needed to pursue legal actions, it is important to be honest when giving evidence.

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