Law Gazette argues in favour of PI advertising

A recent article in the Law Gazette has highlighted inaccuracies in Sky News reporting of the recent storm in a teacup about PI lawyers advertising in hospitals.

The article, written by the Gazette's John Hyde, correctly pointed out that above all else this is old news.

Mr Hyde referred to an article published some 18 months ago on the advertising contracts in place between the NHS and a number of personal injury firms.

Hospital WardHe goes on to parody the media's portrayal of PI lawyer advertising in hospitals, conjuring up the image of "PI lawyers donning white coats and shoving doctors out the way for a chance to exploit patients".

The reality is of course, that PI advertising in NHS Trust Hospitals takes the form of discrete posters and leaflets. They are there for patients wishing to use these services and no more.

Contracts keep about the cowboys

Another very key point is that these agreements actually keep any arrangements above board and in the public eye. A ban would not prevent sharp practitioners from infiltrating hospitals, it would merely push it out of view.

Patients may be advised to go to a PI firm that doesn't advertise in hospitals

One point to note. Any patient contemplating the services of a lawyer advertising in a hospital might want to consider the potential restrictions placed on that lawyer in the contract with the hospital. Mr Hyde points out that these agreements prevent the solicitor for suing the hospital itself as might well happen in the case of medical negligence.

Of course, most patients are only too aware of their right to sue and the probability is that the so inclined are already being bombarded as on their internet-enabled devices as they research their condition.

Such adverts are well upstream of posters and leaflets but must surely also constitute advertising in hospitals?

The Law Gazette Article by John Hyde can be read here:

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher