Viewing entries in
birth injuries

Comment

Blackpool birth injuries lawyer highly ranked in legal directory

Blackpool based birth injuries specialist Diane Rostron has been ranked in the 2020 Legal 500 directory which recognises the top lawyers in the UK.

Ranked amongst large national medical negligence law firms with offices in the North West, Legal 500 describes Rostron as the ‘powerhouse behind a small team’ recognising her commitment and compassion towards clients.

A testimonial published in the annual directory said: “Diane Rostron’s dedicated support and personal commitment to clients, and their families, makes her stand out from others in the field. She is the most committed and compassionate of solicitors that I have come across in dealings with in excess of 50 UK and worldwide law firms.”

Commenting on her Tier 3 ranking, birth injuries lawyer Diane Rostron said: “Our dedication and focus for the past 20 plus years has been on clients first but we are delighted to be recognised amongst a number of specialist large firms for the service we deliver.

“Medical negligence, and birth injuries particularly, leave families in incredibly traumatic and challenging circumstances. The significant, and preventable, harm suffered lasts a lifetime. Our job of course is to secure the £multi-million settlements needed by these families in order to cover the extensive, and relentless costs of carers, therapy, equipment and other needs as a result of the injury sustained.

“These cases are complex, and we work tirelessly to not only secure justice for our families, but to support them through what can be a lengthy and difficult legal process. We get to know each and every client well in order to get a full picture of their individual circumstances and needs. Our support also continues long after a settlement is secured.

“To be recognised by barristers, other lawyers, medical experts and clients as amongst the best in the country, competing against much larger teams, is a fantastic accolade.”

Diane Rostron and her team secured £27 million in 2018 for a seven-year-old Blackpool boy left brain damaged following a birth injury.

To find out more about the families that the team have helped click here.

Ends

Comment

Comment

An elective or planned caesarean may be the safest option according to recent study

Research published in PLoS Medicine in September 2019 found that once a woman had delivered a baby via a caesarean section, subsequent births were safer for mother and baby if a c-section was repeated rather than attempting a natural birth.

According to the study, which looked at 74,000 births in Scotland, 28.4% of the women who had previously had a c-section, but subsequently chose to deliver their next baby naturally, ended up having an emergency caesarean.

One in four babies are born by c-section in the UK – half of those are planned or elective c-sections and the other half are emergency caesareans when complications have arisen during a natural birth according to data published by the BBC.

While childbirth is the most natural thing in the world, it can prove risky if both mother and baby are not carefully monitored throughout – this applies to both vaginal and caesarean births. Pregnant women also have a right to be fully informed by medical staff in order to make the appropriate choice in their personal circumstances, taking into account their individual medical history.

Caesarean births have been subject to controversy, not least because many women are reportedly refused a c-section by their local hospital, often on the grounds of cost.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has a “woman-centred care” guidance in relation to c-sections which states that “pregnant women should be offered evidence-based information and support to enable them to make informed decisions about childbirth. Addressing women’s views and concerns should be recognised as being integral to the decision-making process.”

NICE guidelines are not always followed however, and many women find themselves refused a c-section or not being offered the option in the first place.

In August 2018, Birthrights published a report exposing that the majority of NHS Trusts made requesting a c-section an unnecessarily arduous process for pregnant women.

Its findings also found that nearly three quarters (74%) of NHS Trusts did not offer mothers the option of having a c-section in line with best practice guidance published by NICE.

The report also revealed that 15% of NHS Trusts had policies or processes that did not support giving mums the option.

There are pros and cons to vaginal versus caesarean births of course. However, what should be avoided are circumstances leading to medical intervention and an emergency c-section which can place both mother and baby at heightened risk.

An emergency c-section takes place when something has gone wrong. In some cases, this may be due to mother and baby not being monitored carefully enough by medical staff or complications arising during a natural birth because the mother has not been given the option, or has been refused, a caesarean.

In a small number of cases when things go terribly wrong, the baby can suffer severe injuries before, during or after birth, leading to lifelong physical, psychological and behavioural difficulties.

Prevention is key, and it is essential therefore, that pregnant women are provided with clear and transparent advice about all the available options. All mothers should also be given the choice of whether a natural or caesarean birth is the best method for the safe delivery of their baby. Their decision should always be respected in line with NICE guidance.

Our team of medical and legal experts specialise in acting for families who have suffered a preventable, and significant, birth injury. We understand the extensive financial, emotional and practical support needed by families who have been through this traumatic experience.

Our established team has extensive experience in handling complex birth injury claims with a strong track record of securing £multi-million settlements to help make life a little easier and ensure that lifelong support can be afforded.

For a free initial consultation, contact Diane Rostron and her team on 01253 766 559 or send a summary of your claim to dr@addies.co.uk

Comment

Comment

An apology helps families heal following medical negligence

Families who have suffered as a result of medical negligence need an apology from the professionals involved to help with their healing as they cope with the devastating aftermath.

All NHS patients are entitled to openness and transparency following a preventable incident as medical staff have a statutory Duty of Candour to those whose care they are responsible for.

In circumstances where a serious injury has occurred, particularly when it involves a baby, it is so important for the hospital involved to show that they care by acknowledging what happened and offering the family a heartfelt apology.

This really does help in showing affected families that the NHS cares about what happened to them and acknowledges that it failed in its duty of care. When a mother goes into hospital to have her baby, she has a right to trust that the level of care provided to her and her baby will keep them both safe.

The physical and psychological damage felt by an entire family following an avoidable birth injury cannot be imagined. The effects last a lifetime. A simple sorry will not change these tragic circumstances but by reaching out to patients with honesty and kindness, medical staff can help with their healing.

NHS Resolution, which manages compensation claims brought against the NHS, published its Saying Sorry leaflet in June 2017 to improve patient care and highlights that the Compensation Act 2006 states that an apology does not in itself equate to an admission of liability.

It is sadly rare that our clients receive an apology soon after a serious birth injury when they need it most. At this time particularly, they are experiencing mixed emotions as they learn to cope with their family’s altered future. Their feelings range from deep hurt and confusion to anger, frustration and pain.

We represent clients across England and Wales and a common trend I’m sad to say, is that apologies are often what they want the most however, there are very few cases where the hospital involved provides this.

The lack of evident empathy only serves to deepen the pain and distrust in the NHS leading to further anxiety as they are then put in a position where they have to fight simply to gain an acknowledgement and redress.

Medical negligence compensation is far from a lottery win. The families who must take the legal route following a birth injury when medical care has fallen well below an acceptable standard, need the compensation in order to manage the injuries caused.

Birth injuries can lead to serious lifelong disabilities. Some of these children will require care for their entire lives. Some may never be able to work due to the severity of their injuries. Parents, and other family members, may have to give up work in order to care for their child as a result.

This really is just the tip of the iceberg as whole families suffer the consequences with PTSD not uncommon as they cope in the knowledge that it should have been very different.

If your family has suffered following a birth injury, contact our friendly team for a free confidential consultation on 01253 766 559.

Comment

Comment

Compensation does not remove the pain following medical negligence

High value medical negligence settlements often hit the headlines, however, behind the £multi-million compensation payouts is significant hidden, and ongoing, hardship and pain.

The NHS treats millions of patients each year and, in most cases, the care provided leads to patients leaving hospital safe and well. For some however, medical failings lead to serious injuries impacting the lives of the individuals harmed and their entire family.

We support families in the most tragic of circumstances. In these situations, there really is no such thing as compensation. The hard fought for medical negligence payouts simply cover the cost of the support desperately needed to enable these families to do the everyday things that most will take for granted.

Incidents that involve a baby being significantly injured at birth are devastating. For the families who experience this, the hardship and emotional suffering never ends. These incidents are complex and can take several years to prove.

Securing compensation comes as a huge relief to these families who are then in a position to be able to afford the care, equipment, therapies, home adaptations and more as they learn – day-by-day – how to tackle life with a significantly disabled child who may be dependent for life.

The sums involved are often large amounts but what isn’t always understood is that these payouts have to last for an individual’s entire lifetime and cover very complex – and costly – needs. The compensation really is a lifeline for the families who have struggled for years before a settlement is reached with the NHS Trust involved.

The journey for affected families does not end after a claim is won, however. Their quality of life improves, but no amount of compensation can give them the life that their family should have had had the preventable incident not taken place in the first place.

If you believe that your family has suffered a preventable birth injury, contact our friendly team of specialists for a free confidential consultation on 01253 766 559.

Comment

Comment

New pre-eclampsia test will help increase patient safety

News of a new blood test which promises to detect pre-eclampsia in half the time as current methods is a welcome development.

The condition, which is developed by around one in ten women in the latter stages of pregnancy, can prove fatal if not diagnosed and monitored appropriately. The new test will be rolled out across the NHS following a study in the Lancet.

Pregnancy is a joyful time for many women, but it is essential that both mother and baby are carefully monitored throughout. Pre-eclampsia can prove very dangerous potentially leading to babies being born prematurely or, in more severe cases, can prove fatal if not detected and treated before complications develop.

The current methods can take up to four days involving both urine and blood pressure tests. The new test promises to detect pre-eclampsia in half the time reducing incidents where patient safety is at risk.

Pre-eclampsia can occur at any time after 24 weeks to the end of a pregnancy. The NHS advises that early symptoms include high blood pressure and, in some cases, fluid retention causing swelling in the feet, ankles, face and hands.

Other symptoms which may develop include:

-          Severe headache

-          Problem with sight

-          Pain just below the ribs

Pregnancy and birth is a precious time but also a time when both mother and baby are at their most vulnerable. Medical innovation at a time when many maternity units across the country are under increasing scrutiny will be a welcome relief for mothers to be.

Diane Rostron and her team have more than 20 years’ medical negligence experience specialising in birth injuries. Families who have suffered a significant injury before, during or just after birth can contact the team for free initial advice on 01253 766 559.

 

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

Promise of more neonatal nurses not enough

The government’s ambitious announcement on 30 December to make the NHS “the best place to give birth in the world” should be met with caution.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s objectives include improving the safety, quality and continuity of care for women. The plans promise more neonatal nurses and other specialists to halve the number of stillbirths, maternal and infant deaths and serious birth injuries by 2025.

The continued focus and funding for maternity units is desperately needed. The announcement is positive news for pregnant women and for those who plan to start or grow their family in the future. This is just the start of addressing some of the key issues in maternity units across the country, however.

A greater commitment and focus on providing adequate, and ongoing, staff training is essential. The recurring issues that we see point to a lack of sufficient training and communication.

Medical staff failing to listen and adequately react to pregnant women’s concerns is sadly common.

Other repeated issues in hospitals across England and Wales include failing to recognise when more senior staff need to be involved when there are signs that the baby is in distress during labour and inadequate monitoring during this vulnerable period.

The health and social care secretary has promised “personalised, high quality support” for women from pregnancy through to their child’s first months.

Women need to feel safe when being cared for during their pregnancy through to birth. They should be able to take for granted that the care that they receive at this precious time is adequate.

They should also be able to trust that the specialists will be appropriately trained to recognise when things may potentially go wrong and to respond accordingly to prevent this from happening.

If your family has suffered following a birth injury, contact our friendly team for a free confidential consultation on 01253 766 559.

Comment