AvMA is the UK charity for patient safety and justice. They are an independent charity which supports people affected by medical accidents or clinical negligence and provide free and confidential advice and support to people affected by medical accidents. A ‘medical accident’ is where avoidable harm has been caused as a result of treatment or failure to treat appropriately. They provide advice on rights; medical information or explanations; help in getting issues investigated; assessment of potential for obtaining compensation and referral to an appropriate specialist solicitor, who is able to represent them in this complicated area of law.
To be appointed to the panel, a solicitor has to demonstrate their expertise and experience in handling clinical negligence claims and has to come through a rigorous application and interview process. Every member of AvMA’s solicitor panel has committed to their strict Code of Conduct.
Panel solicitors are encouraged to have an active involvement in the work of AvMA in the interests of patients and patient safety and provide input into AvMA’s responses to external consultation documents, in addition to advising on their programme of conferences and training.
Jane McBennett, who qualified as a solicitor in 1984, specialises in clinical negligence claims on behalf of Claimants who have been injured as the result of medical negligence.
Jane undertakes a wide variety of clinical negligence work including birth injury, orthopaedic, delayed diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases (including cancer), cardiac and brain injury cases and has worked on several notable cerebral palsy birth injury cases on behalf of child Claimants in cases worth several million pounds.
Jane McBennett of Morrish Solicitors commented: “I am extremely honoured to be accepted as an AvMA panel member. To be recognised by such a highly respected source is an immense achievement not just for myself, but also for the rest of the clinical negligence team at Morrish Solicitors.
AvMA have the respect of both patients and the medical establishment, because panel membership is about far more than compensation.
By aiming to improve the way medical complaints are resolved and encouraging service improvements based on lessons learned when accidents occur, AvMA brings experience and common sense to the compensation issue.
The AvMA panel appointment brings additional expertise to the Morrish clinical negligence department. In addition to our Law Society Panel Membership, it contributes to our ability to remain committed to delivering the highest level of specialist expertise in this area of law.”
Each year AvMA deals with around 5,000 enquiries from people affected by medical accidents, many of whom are traumatised and are relieved that at last they have found a sympathetic organisation that understand what they are going through and can help them identify what to do next.