Letter: Medical accidents are not negligence

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Medical accidents are not negligence

From Mr Robin de Wilde, QC

Sir: Polly Toynbee is wrong to infer ("Legal leeches are bleeding the NHS", 28 February) that those involved in medical negligence cases are participating in what is effectively a plunder on the Legal Aid Board. No medical negligence action should be started with less than one, usually more, supporting reports from different medical experts of the appropriate disciplines.

There is a difference between a medical accident, often described as "one of those things", and actual negligence where someone is in breach of their professional duty of care, which is what medical negligence is about.

Not only should there be accountability by professionals, but there is provision for it, both by insurance and the Department of Health's scheme to indemnify hospitals for true claims of over pounds 300,000. Or is Ms Toynbee's view that people have to accept what happens to them?

Yours sincerely,

Robin de Wilde


Professional Negligence

Bar Association

London, WC2