West Coast Mainline fiasco highlights the inequity of ‘money talking’…
Clinical Negligence partner Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp finds a first-class example of why the Government’s meddling with legal aid and after-event insurance is so unfair to ordinary people…
The news today that the West Coast Mainline franchise award process was fundamentally flawed raises some interesting issues.
Multi-millionaire Richard Branson – whose company currently runs the service – was taking court action in a case that was due to start this week, alleging unfair and incompetent handling of the franchise process.
The error was only discovered when officials reviewing figures in preparation for the trial came across the huge mistake. In other words, it would never have surfaced unless a millionaire who has the power and money to go to court had forced greater scrutiny of a public body.
The mistakes would have remained hidden and, no doubt, have happened again. Ironic really, as the Government’s draconian cuts to legal aid and changes to after-event insurance will deprive ordinary people of their right to have medical errors and systemic failures within the health service investigated and exposed. To have changes made, and compensation awarded.
I like Richard Branson a lot, but you shouldn’t have to be a millionaire in order to hold others to account and expose serious failings in a public body that result in serious injury or death.