GPs in Scotland to Gain Legal Protection When Saying Sorry

23rd June 2017

Doctors in Scotland will have new legal protection when saying sorry to patients after errors have been made, the Medical Defence Union says.

As of 19 June, The Apologies Scotland Act 2016 will make it clear that an apology (outside of legal proceedings) is not an admission of liability.

Similar legislation had been in place in England and Wales since 2006 via the Compensation Act 2006 where it states: “An apology, an offer of treatment or other redress, shall not of itself amount to an admission of negligence or breach of statutory duty.”

Senior solicitor, Christian Beadell, commented on the new protection, “All doctors have a professional duty to be open and honest with patients if things go wrong and an apology is an important part of that process. This new legislation will enshrine in Scottish law the principle already applied throughout the UK, namely that an apology does not amount to a legal enforceable admission of breach of duty.  Client’s often present with a letter of apology and believe that at this will give them a right to compensation. That is rarely the case, although an open admission can be used as a means of opening a dialogue with a defendant to see if a resolution can be achieved without the need to commence a lengthy investigation”.

Categories

Archives

Further Reading…

Is enough done for vulnerable mental health patients?

19th April 2018

Since 1992, every April has been a designated stress awareness month. So it is only right that we should all take a moment to make sure that we and the people around us, both at home and at work, are happy, health and coping well.

Take the first step now, you have nothing to lose

Highly rated on 4.0/5.0

  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2016
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • Lexcel - Excellence in Legal Practice Management and Client Care
  • IIP - Investors in People
  • sia - Spinal Injuries Association
  • MASS - Motor Accident Solicitors Society
  • Apil - Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Headway - The Brain Injury Association
  • avma - Action Against Medical Accidents
  • Backup Trust - Transforming Lives After Spinal Cord Injury
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Cyber Essentials
Any Questions?

We know that making a claim can raise a few questions, here are some of the ones we get asked most often.

Read our FAQs

Contact Details
Phone
03300 080 321
Email
enquiry@fs.co.uk
Southport
Dukes House, 34 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PU
Manchester
St James's Tower, 7 Charlotte Street, Manchester, M1 4DZ
Map of the UK