S J Edney’s Christmas and New Year closing times

S J Edney will be closed for the Christmas and New Year break from 1.00pm
on Tuesday 24 December 2013 until 09.00am on Thursday 02 January 2014.




On the 3 October 2013, we had a useful meeting at our offices in Swindon with Mr Ian Biggs, Area Director of NHS England covering Bath, Gloucester, Swindon and Wiltshire and his colleague, Dr Liz Mearns, his Medical Director.

This meeting had been arranged to discuss any issues relating to Tinkers Lane Surgery (the Surgery) and the abhorrent crimes committed by the former GP namely Davinderjit Bains who worked at the Surgery and earlier this year had received a 12 year custodial sentence for committing 39 serious crimes against 32 female patients.

Eight of our clients attended this meeting and it was hoped that NHS England would listen to their concerns and take all necessary steps to reduce, as far as possible, the risk of this type of incident happening again.

The following issues were raised by our clients namely:-

  1. They felt that the complaints process at the Surgery was inadequate.
  2. They felt that all patients, as a matter of course, should be offered a chaperone as per the GMC guidelines and the onus should be on each GP to inform their patients of the availability of a chaperone if that is what the patient wants.
  3. The problem of all male GP surgeries like Tinkers Lane Surgery.  Where these exist – there should be a policy in place to ensure that a female patient can be seen by a female GP even where there is not one available at the surgery.
  4. The Surgery should show more sensitivity towards the victims of Bains – many of them were continuing to have appointments in the same consulting room previously used by Bains which triggered very bad memories and was upsetting for them.
  5. Dissatisfaction with the counselling offered by both the Surgery and the NHS to the many victims of Bains following the sexual assault.

NHS England promised to act on the issues raised at this meeting and in particular:-

  • to ensure that all GP practices on their “patch” were reminded that it was important that patients were offered chaperones;
  • remind GPs of their duty to have suitable policies and procedures in place.  They promised to work with those GP practices where this appears to be a problem to ensure that chaperones are available to all patients when requested;
  • to ensure that their psychological service would be in contact with Bains’ victims to offer counselling to help them overcome the psychological damage caused by Bains.

On the 12 November 2013, NHS England published their report on the Surgery.  Interestingly, it transpires that there were a number of complaints made about Bains before his arrest, some relating to his examinations which appeared to be more intimate than required.

It is clear that there are a number of questions that need to be answered by the Surgery in light of this report.  For the purpose of any future legal claim, we will be seeking disclosure of a large number of documents from the Surgery including the relevant complaints records and the record of all meetings between the partners and Bains.


Recent Health & Safety Executive figures for 2011/12

Some appalling stats which recently appeared in the press:-

  • 172 workers were killed at work;
  • 111,000 other injuries to employees were reported;
  • 27 million working days were lost due to work related illnesses and workplace injury
  • there are 1 million people suffering from work related illnesses



Section 69 of The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, came into force on the 1 October 2013.

This change in the law is bad news for employees injured at work and will remove the strict liability imposed on employers by most health and safety legislation and will require an injured worker to prove that is employer was not only in breach of statutory duty but that the employer was also negligent.

All we want for Christmas at S J Edney ……

is for the Government not to make any more changes in how solicitors conduct civil litigation and pursue personal injury claims on behalf of their clients – with the “Jackson Reforms” and the ongoing threat to increase the small claims limit for personal injury claims, it is far more difficult for Claimants to pursue genuine claims arising from the negligent actions of others.

that the Court of Appeal will not reduce the 12 year prison sentence imposed on Bains at Swindon Crown Court earlier this year – his lawyers have lodged an appeal which in our view has no merit at all.

We have a Twitter account and you would make our day by following us on @SJEdney.

more clients – as a small firm with limited resources, we rely greatly on our clients and former clients for recommendations.  We appreciate that this will only happen if we continue to provide a top class service to our clients.

This newsletter was produced by S J Edney solicitors