BOOK REVIEW: CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE MADE CLEAR: NIGEL POOLE QC

Nigel Poole QC has a book published this month “Clinical Negligence Made Clear A Guide for Patients and Professionals”.  I have had access to the printed and the digital copy, and I’ve had fun…

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.

Albert Einstein.

DECLARATION OF INTEREST

I have been interacting with Nigel on social media for many years, likewise I have been reading and recommending his blog  on clinical negligence litigation “Learned Friend” since (I think) it started.  We even met up a few weeks ago to discuss a few things – but not this book. But bloggers and book reviewers are not subject to the “fair minded observer test” (and in any event – as everyone knows – the rules of the  Secret Federation of Legal Bloggers means we all look after each other).

 

THE AIM OF THE BOOK

Nigel has chosen a difficult task. The book is not aimed at the lawyer but patients, healthcare professionals and experts. “Legal advisers and trainees” come last on the list of who will find the book useful.

DO YOU NEED IT?

Oh yes.  This is a book lawyers should buy to keep near their desks for a whole host of reasons. Firstly its readable. If you want to have an overview of this topic then simply read it from cover to cover.  Secondly it is is comprehensive.  Part 1 deals with the rule of law, explains the court system, the law of negligence, the standard of care and the essential element of “proving negligence”.  Part 2 takes you through the principles of clinical negligence; Part 3 the detailed “anatomy” of making a claim.  Part 4 deals with particulars claims, from birth injuries, wrongful birth to matters including delay in diagnosing cancer, cosmetic surgery and psychiatric care.

IS IT PRACTICAL?

I am looking at this through a lawyer’s eye.  It is staying within reach on my bookshelf.  Not only is the book itself practical but it has lots of useful information that can save hours.

  • The Useful Contacts section at xxv (including the address of the relevant websites).
  • The Glossary Section at 395.
  • Tucked away in the “Beginning a Claim” section there are draft Particulars, draft directions, schedules and counter-schedules.

The fact that this is written by a practising lawyer shines through.  In the section on “Social Media” Nigel recounts one case where a claimant with a disabling spinal injury was seen on Facebook bungee jumping the claimant “said that the jump was therapeutic – it applied traction to the spine”.

IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?

At £19.99 (I had to check the price three times) this is an absolute steal.  Every lawyer practising in this area should have one, it will save hours at some time or another. Buy copies for clients, experts, trainees. If you order before the 31st October you get a free digital edition. 

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

Lawyers definitely should. Experts, doctors and all those associated with clinical negligence are going to be helped by this book, they should but it too.  In some ways it reminds me of what was said of Glanville Williams “Guide and Friend” (actually with the last chapter on the future of clinical negligence it could use the term “philosopher” as well. )