Page 22 - PIC-Magazine-Issue-22-Spring-Summer
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  PIC Magazine caught up with Beth Heath, Partner and Head of Clinical/Medical Negligence Team at Lanyon Bowdler LLP.
    To view Beth’s work profile visit: beth-heath
            An Interview with Beth Heath
What aspects of your role do you find most challenging?
I find the increasing criticism clinical negligence lawyers face for their costs challenging. We are criticised for diverting resources away from the NHS and using funds that would otherwise be spent on patient care. This flies in the face of everything we do. The NHS only pay our costs if we are successful in a claim. If there was a better focus on patient safety and learning from mistakes, there would be less clinical negligence claims. Without us holding the profession accountable, patient safety would likely deteriorate further.
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone considering
starting out, then what would
that advice be?
In clinical negligence your people skills are key. Be compassionate and empathetic.
What inspires you and why?
The strength of so many
of my clients. They are often going through the very worst time in their lives when they instruct me yet the resilience and determination they show is inspiring. My team also inspire me.
I am surrounded by young talented individuals and their desire to learn, develop and do the very best for their clients is inspiring.
If you weren’t in your current role, what would your dream job be?
I have only ever wanted to be a solicitor, so I guess I am living that dream. But if not, it would need to be something as equally as fulfilling as my current role.
      Tell us a little about
your career to date.
I completed my training contract at Lanyon Bowdler LLP and
qualified into the Clinical Negligence team in 2014. Since then, the team has grown in size and stature. I am now a Partner and Head of the Clinical Negligence department.
What made you apply of AvMA Accreditation? AvMA Panel accreditation
is an essential quality mark for those clinical negligence lawyers who are working at the highest level and whose focus is on client care, justice and patient safety. All things that I believe strongly in and endeavour to put at the forefront of my practice.
Tell us about the Accreditation Process. It is a lengthy application
requiring significant supporting evidence and as such does take some time to complete (don’t let this deter you). Upon receipt, the application
is assessed and if you pass that initial assessment, you are then invited
to interview to further explore your expertise and experience.
How did you prepare your Application?
In the years prior to making
my application I had familiarised myself with the eligibility criteria to ensure I was actively working towards such. Closer to the time I reviewed the Application Booklet for New Applicants for further details re eligibility and I
had a telephone discussion with Liz Thomas, AvMA’s Policy and Research Manager. Liz was really helpful in advising in relation to the timing of my application and the evidence required and I would definitely recommend anyone considering making an application to have a chat with Liz.
How did it feel on receiving AvMA Accreditation?
AvMA accreditation is something that
I personally highly regard. I was proud to join a panel of incredibly talented, leading individuals in our field. I also looking forward to working closely with AvMA moving forward.
What aspects of your role do you find most rewarding?
Clinical negligence can be immensely complex and heart-wrenching but equally, a very rewarding career. I do a lot of birth injury work, and many mums have carried around unimaginable amounts of guilt about what happened to their child. I therefore find the point of admissions of negligence and the apology very important milestones
for these women and the relief and unburdening they often experience is very rewarding.
Also being able to witness the improvement in a brain injured child’s quality of life, and indeed that of
their family, with commercial care, adaptive accommodation and other MDT support when you have obtained compensation for them.
Partners In Costs

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