Page 6 - PIC Magazine Autumn Issue 16
P. 6

 Paul Rumley, Chairman for the Society of Clinical Negligence Lawyers.
COVID-19 Clinical Negligence Claims Protocol
The first and best example of the renewed close working relationship between AvMA and SCIL, was the negotiation and then signing into effect of the clinical negligence claims protocol for the strange times we currently find ourselves in.
Negotiated directly with NHSR, it is fair to say it is probably my proudest achievement so far as Chairman of SCIL to have delivered something of such practical benefit to the specialist profession.
It is noteworthy how robust the Protocol is, so for example unlike the PI Protocols it remains in force unless or until one of the signatories to it decides to end it.
The main elements of the Protocol are as follows:
Simple provision to suspend limitation in clinical negligence cases. Basically, as long as a firm writes to NHSR to confirm
that the Protocol is being triggered in respect of limitation, then unless or until that is challenged, limitation is indeed suspended.
Email as the default method for service of court proceedings and other documents, thereby simplifying and speeding up matters.
Reciprocal acceptance of encrypted emails – although this is still a work in progress in terms of NHSR’s computer systems.
   Partners In Costs
 Paul Rumley is a Lead Partner within the Clinical Negligence Team at Royds Withy King Solicitors. Here he talks about his appointment as Chairman for the Society of Clinical Negligence Lawyers (SCIL) and tells us more about what his role entails and how he has spent his first six months as Chairman.
took over the Chairmanship of the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers (SCIL) on April’s Fools Day 2020 – which has turned out to be somewhat of a prophetic date. Having agreed to take on the role in January 2020, who could have known how things would change? I have certainly learned in my first
six months as Chairman of SCIL, that leading any organisation during the current pandemic is challenging.
One of the main reasons I agreed to take up the Chairmanship of SCIL is its underlying commitment to furthering access to justice, and in particular to sharing and finding solutions to the practical issues which we all face as specialist clinical negligence departments and firms. That is certainly going to be the bedrock of my approach as Chairman.
Leaving aside, however, the impact of the pandemic, what have I been doing for my first six months in the role? Well, a fair summary of that to date is:
SCIL has always had close relationships
with AvMA, most notably during the fixed costs discussions which I will say more
about below, and our shared focus upon the need for patient safety learning in the NHS.
It therefore made sense, when I became Chairman, to explore ways in which we could work even more closely together for the benefit of our respective patient clients and specialist firms.
I was very pleased, therefore, when SCIL and AvMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2020, which sets out ways in which we will – and will not – work together in the future for the benefit of patient safety and other issues.

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