The Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes—pre-6 April 2015 [Archived]
Produced in partnership with Andrew Ritchie QC of 9 Gough Square
The Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes—pre-6 April 2015 [Archived]

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note Produced in partnership with Andrew Ritchie QC of 9 Gough Square provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes—pre-6 April 2015 [Archived]
  • Obtaining medical records
  • Letter of claim
  • NHS Litigation Authority
  • Proceedings
  • Offers
  • Response
  • Experts
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Failure to comply with the Protocol

Note: A new version of the protocol applies from 6 April 2015. For the post-6 April 2015 Pre-Action Protocol, see Practice Note: The pre-action protocol for the resolution of clinical disputes—6 April 2015 onwards.

The Clinical Disputes Protocol came into force on 26 April 1999.

It arose from the Clinical Disputes Forum, a multi-disciplinary body formed in 1997 as a result of Lord Woolf’s Access to Justice inquiry.

It is designed to encourage a climate of openness when something has gone wrong with a patient’s treatment or the patient is dissatisfied with medical treatment. It sets out a timed sequence of steps for patients and health care providers to follow when a dispute arises. It is designed to speed up the exchange of relevant information and increase the prospects of dispute resolution without resorting to legal action.

The Clinical Disputes Protocol created a code of good practice that parties should follow when litigation might be a possibility.

Unlike the NHS Redress Scheme, the Clinical Disputes Protocol applies to all aspects of the health service, primary and secondary, public and private.

Its introductory sections state why it was established and enumerate the aims and objectives.

Obtaining medical records

Where an adverse outcome has been serious or had serious consequences, a request for a patient’s medical records should specify the records that are sought and should provide