We indicated in the consultation on the possible content of a Patient Rights (Scotland) Bill undertaken in 2008 that no-fault compensation for clinical injury was our favoured way forward. However, we acknowledged the need for further work on the practical implications and potential costs of any such change in compensation arrangements.
The establishment of a short-life working group, chaired by Sheila McLean, the then Director of the Institute of Law and Ethics in Medicine at Glasgow University, was announced in 2009. The group was asked to consider the potential benefits of a no-fault system for patients and whether such a scheme could be introduced alongside the existing clinical negligence arrangements.
We welcomed the Group's Report which was published in February 2011. The report provides advice on the key principles and design criteria that could be adopted for a no-fault compensation scheme and recommends the introduction of a no-fault system based on the model currently in operation in Sweden:
We undertook to investigate thoroughly how such a scheme would work in practice and also to undertake further analysis of the cost implications in conjunction with the team of researchers from Manchester University who supported the review group. The researchers reports published in June 2012 include:
A consultation seeking views on the Review Group's recommendations was conducted between August and December 2012 to help inform our consideration of whether a no-fault scheme should be introduced and, if so, what the extent and scope of such a scheme should be. A Consultation Report setting out our proposed way forward was published on April 4, 2014. The report indicates that we will proceed with caution to explore the complexities of the scope, shape and development of a no-fault compensation scheme in Scotland.