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Scotland Considering No-Fault Scheme

The Scottish government has taken first steps to investigate possible introduction of a no-fault compensation scheme for medical injuries, following the release of its No Fault Compensation Review Group’s report. A no-fault scheme would replace the current system, where patients must prove medical negligence. Under this system, complaints within the NHS Scotland are resolved locally; each Health Board within NHS Scotland would employ designated staff who receive complaints from the public and register decisions and related actions taken. If a complaint cannot be resolved at the local level or an individual is dissatisfied with the outcome of the local level complaint procedure, he or she could bring their complaints to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman’s Office.

The report concluded that a no-fault system could provide fairer and quicker compensation and complaint resolution for patients, more efficient use of public time and money, and greater scope for the NHS to learn from its mistakes. Further, a no-fault system could help reduce the “atmosphere of tension” between patients and their health care providers.


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