Welcome to Laurence Vick's website covering a wide range of medico-legal topics and random music, sport and other stuff  that will hopefully be of interest.

Laurence, now a Consultant Solicitor following his retirement from practice in January 2020, has over 30 years experience of  clinical negligence litigation having represented claimants and their families in many high profile cases involving a wide range of medical and surgical procedures.  

An active patient safety advocate, Laurence  has been a central figure in children’s heart surgery litigation after representing the families affected by the Bristol cardiac scandal of the 1990s and failings at other cardiac units across the country over the years since. He was joint lead solicitor to the 300 families at the Bristol Royal Infirmary Public Inquiry which led to the Kennedy Report of 2001. This report, with close to 200 recommendations,  promised to herald a sea-change in clinical accountability and audit, the evaluation and organisation of specialist NHS services on a national level and an end to the 'club culture' in the NHS. Last but not least, it was hoped that the Kennedy recommendations would lead to full and effective protection for patient-safety whistleblowers..

Described in legal directories as the ‘go-to lawyer' for complex cardiac and cardiology cases and in the current 2020 Legal 500 as a Leading Individual in the South West region, following his retirement from practice Laurence was proud to have been made an Honorary member of the panel of the leading patient safety and justice charity AvMA (Action for Victims of Medical Accidents). 

Following his involvement in the Bristol heart surgery Public Inquiry and the related brain damage and other severe injury cases, the  number of major scandals over the intervening years in spite of the proliferation of Inquiries remains a major concern and inevitably raises the question: a generation later, have the lessons of Bristol been learned? He has written widely on this issue and on the lack of protection afforded to patient-safety whistleblowers, as well as the duty of candour and consent, and on the availability of readily understandable outcome data from individual units to enable patients to make informed choices about their treatment.

Laurence is a regular contributor to the debate over the wider problems facing an increasingly fragmented public-private health service. The safety,  transparency and indemnity implications of  NHS outsourcing to the private sector and the adequacy of oversight and monitoring are key interests.

Laurence maintains an interest in the development and implications of clinical guidelines.  He has also published articles on treatment disparities and the failure to diagnose and the misdiagnosis of women's heart symptoms and the need to expand research and the development of  gender-based guidelines.   

Laurence follows developments in sports cardiology and research into other medico-legal issues emerging in the world of sport including the duty of care owed by football and other sports clubs and their doctors to their players. He has also published articles and advised two government-funded university research  projects on safety issues concerning medical tourism. 

These and other topics and musings will be covered in this blog. You can also follow Laurence on Twitter @LaurenceVick and on LinkedIn

Rad Hamed: Club cardiologist and an avoidable tragedy

By Laurence Vick | 19th May 2017

Club, Cardiologist and an Avoidable Tragedy – the Rad Hamed case An article I wrote in March 2015 for PI Brief on this tragic case involving the failure of cardiac testing in a promising young footballer. The 2015 High Court judgment in favour of Rad Hamed, the ‘extremely gifted and dedicated’ young footballer who suffered…

Read More

June 2016: My analysis as we await publication of the new Bristol Review (‘Kennedy 2’) – have the lessons from the 90s heart scandal been learned?

By Laurence Vick | 11th March 2017

The Bristol Review, an inquiry instigated in response to the anxieties of parents whose children died or were harmed at Bristol Children’s Hospital, is finally due to publish its findings on 30 June 2016. The families have awaited this report for two years, becoming increasingly concerned by what they perceived to be delays in its…

Read More