Patients and their families often need a lot of non-medical advice, help and assistance following a life changing accident.
This cannot always easily be provided by the medical staff at the hospital. Lawyers working in partnership with medics can offer great benefits to both patients and the NHS.
Early access to information and legal advice can assist a patient and their family in many ways.
It can benefit the NHS by releasing medical staff to concentrate on the treatment the patient requires. Often advice will be needed by the injured person’s family in relation to the many non-medical issues.
The abolition of Legal Aid and decline in Citizens Advice funding has made this problem more acute. Hugh James as a firm, have a long and distinguished tradition stretching back over 50 years of providing and supporting the provision of pro-bono legal advice to those who would not otherwise have access to justice.
Initial advice and signposting are often provided by our team on a pro-bono basis (non chargeable). Also signposting to organisations and charities that can assist for example, Headway, SIA and other advice services and charities (both local and national).
We couldn’t have had a better solicitor. So knowledgeable and efficient, yet the most kind, caring and understanding friend all rolled into one, at a time when few people could really understand what my injury had done to me.
Legal advice can assist a patient’s rehabilitation by providing them with early access to private rehabilitation and treatment. There have been several studies to show that the transition from hospital to rehabilitation is an important step in the recovery process following traumatic injury, and delays have been shown to result in poorer outcomes.
Potential identification of funding sources enables patients to access an increased amount of rehabilitation and treatment privately. Patients may possess private healthcare policies and critical illness policies which may provide alternative funding for rehabilitation (however this is now often removed from policies).
More often the case, rehabilitation is funded by:
The Code enables patients who have been involved in an accident to benefit from private rehabilitation. Patients legally have the right to rehabilitation and further treatment in the private sector if the accident by which they have sustained injury can be shown to be the fault of another.
There need not be an admission of liability from the insurers to utilise the Rehabilitation Code 2015. The purpose of the Code is to promote collaborative use of rehabilitation and early intervention in the compensation process to help the claimant make the best and quickest possible medical, social, vocational and psychological recovery. Rehabilitation paid for under the Code is ringfenced and not regarded as part of the claim. Therefore, in the event of the claim being unsuccessful, the monies paid under the Rehabilitation Code are not recoverable.
One of the key benefits of the Rehabilitation Code 2015 and Interim Payments are that the cost of patient rehabilitation is transferred from the NHS to the insurer. A huge cost saving for the NHS.
The NHS Injury Costs Recovery (ICR) scheme aims to recover the cost of NHS treatment where personal injury compensation is paid. The sums of money which can be recovered are currently as follows:
Much of the cost of this treatment is currently met by the NHS. Currently the NHS can seek to recoup some of this outlay up to a limit of £50,561 for patients via the NHS Injury Costs Recovery Scheme.
Delays in access to rehabilitation also results in significant levels of bed occupancy within the NHS. An NHS patient who has suffered an accident which was the fault of another can receive treatment and rehabilitation at no cost to themselves within the private healthcare sector as part of a personal injury claim.
This will assist not only the patient but the trust in reducing bed occupancy rates. Another large cost saving for the NHS.
Partnering with law firms for the benefits of patients should ensure a substantial increase in the amount of money recouped by NHS trusts. The legislation is in place to allow the NHS to recover treatment costs of injured individuals. Research suggests that the level of recovery is very modest at most Trusts, and this could be potentially a multi million pound revenue gain for many NHS Trusts.
By offering this service to patients allows them:
Giving patient access to early advice greatly impacts the NHS in the following ways: