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NHS Redress Act 2006

Section 7: Suspension of limitation period

29.This section requires a scheme to provide for the period of time when a case is being considered under the scheme to be disregarded when calculating whether any time limit for bringing court proceedings has expired. For example, section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980 provides that court proceedings founded in tort for damages in respect of personal injury cannot generally be brought more than 3 years from the date on which the cause of action accrued (or, if later, the date on which the person became aware of the cause of action). This provision will therefore ensure that a patient is not prejudiced by, or prevented from litigating as a result of, waiting for the result of an investigation under the redress scheme, for example where he or she is dissatisfied with an offer made under the scheme and therefore subsequently wishes to bring court proceedings. The scheme may define when a case is considered to be the subject of proceedings under the scheme, so that it is absolutely clear when the time to be disregarded begins and ends (subsection (3)). Regulations might, for example, provide for the period of time to be disregarded to begin when the scheme member begins proceedings under the scheme and for that period to stop (i.e. for the limitation period to start running again) at the end of the fixed period of time that the patient is allowed to consider an offer of redress under the scheme or (if earlier) when the patient chooses to reject the offer.

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