Public and Private Provision of Care and Accomodation (April 2006, William Norris QC)

Public and Private Provision of Care and Accomodation (April 2006, William Norris QC)


“In large value personal injury claims two competing but interrelated issues often arise.  On the one hand, a Claimant may wish to provide for his future care and accommodation by means of a privately funded regime paid for by the Defendant.  A Defendant, on the other hand, will want to argue that the Claimant should in fact take advantage of services to which he is entitled as a matter of public provision, thereby diminishing his (that is, the tortfeasor’s) financial exposure.

This issue is the single most corrosive and complex issue in contemporary personal injury litigation.  By that I mean that the judiciary, lawyers and litigants alike are entitled to be frustrated at the expense which attaches to investigation of these issues and the inevitable obstacles which such problems place in the way of settlement. 

Furthermore, inconsistency of decision making is manifestly unsatisfactory and it is therefore illuminating to see that recently there have been two, essentially contradictory, decisions which prove my point. 

The first of those decisions is that of Tomlinson J in Freeman v Lockett [2006] EWHC 102 (QB) and the second is that of His Honour Judge Reid QC in Crofton v NHSLA, a decision on 19th January 2006 in respect of which there is, as yet, no neutral citation reference…”

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