6. Continuing care costs
6.1 The rising costs of continuing care is an area of concern. Some respondents to the previous consultation on the Review Group's recommendations called for the repeal of Section 2(4) of the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948, which stipulates that personal injury defendants must disregard NHS care when paying compensation. Care costs are expensive because the 1948 law still applies. This means public bodies like the NHS have to fund private care.
6.2 Repealing this section would allow personal injury defendants such as employers, insurers, Medical Defence Unions, and public bodies to buy NHS and local authority care packages rather than pay for private care. This could potentially boost NHS and Local Authority funds and improve services for the benefit of all service users.
6.3 In cases where continuing care is appropriate it would be proposed that an independent assessment of the individual care package requirements would be undertaken in each case and a guarantee of treatment and care by the NHS or local authority provided. In circumstances where the package of care or elements of it cannot be provided by the NHS or Local Authority, the relevant NHS Board will be responsible for commissioning these services from alternative providers.
Question 10 - Would you support the repeal of Section 2(4) of the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948 in relation to continuing care costs providing, as proposed, the care package is independently assessed and quality care guaranteed in each case?
If no please briefly explain why:
6.4 Consideration is also being given to legislating for the payment of continuing care costs through Periodic Payment Orders to spread the cost for the NHS and to ensure that the money is available to meet the patient's continuing care requirements.