Survey of clinical negligence solicitors reveals Covid-19 impact
Towards the end of 2020, we surveyed a large number of clinical negligence solicitors from all of our partner firms, in order to gauge the impact that the pandemic and successive lockdowns were having on their business and identify the key issues facing the sector in 2021.
While there was wide variation in the responses, reflecting very diverse experiences of 2020 and expectations for the coming year, some clear themes emerged from the data.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said that they had experienced a reduction in the number of enquiries being made since the start of the first lockdown and, among those who had seen fewer enquiries, on average, that reduction represented almost half (45%) of their normal workflow.
However, almost all of those surveyed (86%) said that they were expecting enquiries to return to normal, pre-covid levels in full, with another 4% saying they expected enquiries to bounce back, at least partially.
Just under two-thirds of solicitors also reported that they were experiencing delays in getting medical reports, and this was before the latest spike in infections which has piled even more pressure on clinical staff. At the time, almost as many (57%) claimed that they were seeing similar delays in receiving medical records.
Looking to the future, more than three quarters of respondents (76%) said that they expected to see an increase in Covid-related cases, though little more than a third (35%) of all the solicitors expressed any appetite for taking on Covid-specific cases, as distinct from cases resulting from delays to treatment.
Meanwhile, cashflow clearly has the potential to become an issue for some firms, with more than 40% of those surveyed saying that they were experiencing delays in settling cases and recovering damages.
Book a place at our Roundtable and live Q&A
We’re going to be exploring some of the themes that came out of our survey and how we think 2021 will unfold in a Roundtable discussion with key figures from the clinical negligence sector.
The roundtable will be broadcast on February 3rd February at 11am and you’ll have the opportunity to put your questions to members of our panel.
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