Letter: Medical negligence: to apologise,to explain, to litigate

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From Professor Roy Sanders

Sir: Polly Toynbee has hit the nail on the head. Screw the NHS by making litigation for medical negligence cheaper and quicker, and justice more accessible, and money will be diverted from medicine to the law; from patients in need of treatment to those who have been negligently treated.

Some Trusts hammer the doctor by settling actions because it is cheaper than defending them. Where does that leave the doctor faced with a well- treated but discontented and litigious patient?

Chip away at the trust a patient has in the doctor, wedge the lawyers between the human and apologetic doctor and the patient, and it is plain to see that with increased access to litigation, for the NHS, there's a Woolf at the door.

Yours faithfully,

Roy Sanders

Clinical Director

Centre for Plastic and

Reconstructive Surgery

Mount Vernon Hospital