Healthcare Brief market insights – December 2018

A summary of key developments, including an update on the Civil Liability Bill, draft legislation from Jersey on the discount rate, a new video hearings pilot scheme, delays with clinical negligence reforms, an update on the Patient Safety Bill, a new report from the Care Quality Commission and an independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983.

The Civil Liability Bill awaits Royal Assent – call for evidence commenced on first discount rate review

The Bill has passed through the House of Lords with no amendments and is awaiting Royal Assent.

Meanwhile, the government has today published a call for evidence on setting the personal injury discount rate which will help the Lord Chancellor in carrying out the first review of the rate. The call for evidence closes on 30 January 2019. We expect a new discount rate before the end of 2019.

Contact: Christopher Malla

Related item: Civil justice reforms - a game of two halves

Jersey draft legislation shines a light on discount rates

On 24 October 2018, the Draft Damages (Jersey) Law was introduced. It proposes the introduction of a duel discount rate and for courts to be able to award damages by periodical payment orders in Jersey. The proposed discount rates are based upon the consultations launched jointly by the Ministry of Justice and the Scottish Government. Duel rates are proposed at 0.5% for periods up to 20 years and 1.8% over 20 years. Jersey’s interpretation of the UK consultations suggests a fairer outcome when the new discount rate in England and Wales is announced.

The Draft Law was due to be debated on 4 December 2018.

Contact: Charles Martin

Related item: Jersey draft legislation shines a light on discount rates

Independent review of Mental Health Act 1983 concludes an overhaul is long overdue

In October 2017, an independent review was commissioned by the government to consider how the legislation in the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and how practice can improve. Today the working group published their recommendations, confirming that the Act is outdated and needs amending, including the introduction of legally binding advanced care plans.

Contact: Rob Tobin

Related item: A question of deprivation of liberty

Clinical negligence – delays on CJC report

It was anticipated that in September 2018, the Civil Justice Council (CJC) would report their proposals to reform the process for clinical negligence claims valued up to £25,000, including a fixed recoverable costs grid. The complex nature of clinical negligence claims has, however, become a stumbling block and the CJC is now expected to finalise their report in March 2019.

Contact: Ed Glasgow

Related item: Managing the costs of clinical negligence claims: an update

Video hearings pilot scheme – part of the court modernisation process

The 101st update to the Civil Procedure Rules introduced a pilot scheme that will test online hearings for applications to set aside county court default judgments, heard at the Manchester and Birmingham courts. The parties and Judge will attend the hearing, using an internet-enabled video-link.

The pilot supports the ongoing reform programme to modernise the court system and will run from 30 November 2018 to 30 November 2019.

Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill Update

The Joint Committee published their recommendations on the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill on 2 August 2018. They believe the Health Service Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) will play a vital role in improving patient safety and are keen that the legislation is introduced as soon as possible.

Key recommendations include:

  • Blanket prohibition on disclosure to aid getting to the truth.
  • Removal of the ability of ‘Safe Space’ Investigations by accredited NHS trusts.
  • HSSIB informing any person harmed by the incident, before deciding whether to investigate.
  • HSSIB not investigating the ‘1,000 maternity cases’ as it misconstrues their role.
  • Clearer independence of the HSSIB from the Secretary of State.

We await the government’s response to the recommendations.

Contact: Daniel Freeman

Care Quality Commission – key to patient care is strong leadership and patient involvement

On 12 September 2018, the Care Quality Commission published a report exploring how six high performing hospital trusts have used a systematic approach to quality improvement. Key themes to come out of the report was that board and senior leadership was crucial to ensuring success, along with breaking down barriers between managers and clinicians, and providers and patients, ensuring a shared purpose. The report also highlighted the importance of involving patients in the work.

Contact: Amanda Mead

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