Medical negligence compensation has risen four-fold across the country to £1.6 billion during the 10 years up to 2016/17 according to figures from the National Audit Office.
Maternity and neonatal care represented 10% of all claims in 2016/17 but accounted for half of the total compensation awarded.
While the Department of Health pledges to “…halve the rates of neonatal deaths, stillbirths, maternal deaths and brain injuries caused during or shortly after labour by 2025”, medical errors continue to devastate lives.
Small delays in taking appropriate action during the critical period before, during and shortly after childbirth, can lead to lifelong disabilities.
These cases are thankfully rare however, when mistakes are made during the period when mother and baby are at their most vulnerable, the effects last a lifetime - changing the lives of entire families.
Compensation for birth related injuries are extensive. Delays of just minutes or the failure of medical professionals to properly monitor a baby’s health during childbirth can result in injuries that affect every aspect of their development from that point onwards.
These avoidable failings in medical care can mean the difference between a perfectly healthy baby being delivered to a baby facing lifelong care needs, the inability to ever work and sometimes even the inability to form relationships.
The practicalities of the disabilities caused are just part of the heartache suffered by the families involved. The joy of the birth of a new member of the family is replaced by worry and trauma.
Birth injuries can include: birth asphyxia; birth trauma (skull fractures and brain haemorrhages); cephalohematoma; cerebral palsy; epilepsy; hydrocephalus; hypoxia; ischaemic brain damage; jaundice and meningitis.
The resulting day-to-day complications can make daily activities extremely difficult. The compensation sought in these circumstances aims to cover the cost of essential items, care, adaptations and transport to ease some of these difficulties.
Equipment such as wheelchairs may be required. Adapting the family’s living space or building a new home to fit their needs, therapies and the cost of lifelong care is accounted for.
Loss of earnings, where appropriate, and other costs such as transport to medical appointments or school are all considered when we calculate how much our clients are entitled to following medical negligence.
Our team uniquely comprises leading medical and legal specialists with more than 20 years’ experience. Our relentless pursuit of the truth has led to millions of pounds of compensation for clients significantly injured when medical care has fallen below adequate levels.
Specialising in childbirth injuries, we are experts in unravelling the fine details to prove when and how errors have been made. We work with several experts to accurately calculate how much is required by our families to support past, current and future needs.