No win, no fee NHS hospital compensation claims
You can be represented by a highly-experienced birth injury lawyer at no upfront cost to you. Under our No Win No Fee agreement you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of the compensation awarded if your case is successful.
Avoidable deaths of mothers and babies
Maternity care services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust were made subject to an independent investigation following admissions of ‘avoidable deaths’ at the trust.
An independent investigation found that from 202 cases highlighted and examined from 2011 onwards, up to 45 babies may have survived had they received better treatment at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
A further 12 babies may not have suffered brain damage and 23 mothers may not have died or been injured. Failings were also found in the care of a further 54 patients.
The 2022 report highlighted ‘gross failures’ of teams working across maternity services and it was also concluded that the Trust had given the appearance of ‘covering up the scale and systemic nature” of its problems, with the report saying there had been ‘no evidence to convince us that this cycle has ended’.
Which maternity services were involved?
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust runs its maternity services at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
Hudgell Solicitors’ dedicated team of maternity care claims solicitors followed this case closely and are able to support families who have suffered as a result of any failings in care.
If you were treated by maternity units at either of these hospitals and have concerns about the care you received, our medical negligence solicitors are able to provide free advice as to potential legal claims.
Our role is to help reveal the chain of events which led to injuries or deaths, get clear answers as to why it happened and, if necessary, hold those responsible to account.
Specialists in maternity claims
Our team has experience in handing claims relating to;
- Babies suffering brain injuries after being starved of oxygen (such as Cerebral Palsy)
- Babies left with life-changing disabilities due to birth injuries
- Stillbirths caused due to poor management of pregnancy / delivery
- Babies suffering fractured skulls or broken bones during delivery
- Avoidable deaths of babies shortly after delivery
- Deaths of mothers during pregnancy or birth
- Injuries caused to mothers during pregnancy, labour and birth
Our family focused support
We pride ourselves on the support we provide to families who suffer as a result of negligent maternity care.
Our help is particularly crucial in supporting families who have children born with lifelong injuries due to negligent care at birth.
We always seek to secure interim compensation payments when negligence has been admitted so immediate steps can be taken to provide invaluable support in terms of therapy, equipment, accommodation and care.
Our work is focused on ensuring the best possible quality of life for both the child and family, working to ensure all is provided to help the child towards independent living in adult life.
In situations where families sadly lose their babies as a result of negligent care, claims can help provide access to therapy, counselling or support for loved ones.
Ensuring you get the medical negligence compensation you deserve
How to make a hospital negligence claim
Make a claim in six easy steps
Free Initial Advice
Call us, request a callback or complete our online claim form and we will assess whether we think you have a claim.
We will help you to decide how best to fund your claim. Usually, we will be able to offer you a No win, No fee agreement.
Obtain Medical Records & Medical Reports
We will request copies of your medical records and instruct appropriate medical experts to prepare reports confirming whether your care was negligent and how this caused you injury.
Letter Of Claim
We will send a letter to your healthcare provider with details of your claim, setting out why we think your case was negligent and how this caused you injury.
Prepare Claim Valuation
We will put together a schedule of loss setting out the losses you have incurred and the extent of the injuries you have sustained.
We will send all the evidence to your opponent inviting their settlement proposals. If we cannot agree a reasonable settlement, we will prepare court proceedings.
Our client reviews
We’re always committed to getting the optimum outcome for you.
How were concerns over maternity services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust unearthed?
The case of baby Harry Richford, who died in 2017, was instrumental in deeper investigations being made into the standard of East Kent maternity care.
Harry was born in a hospital in Margate in an emergency delivery. He was transferred to the intensive neonatal unit at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, but later died.
The Trust insisted a coroner did not need to be informed of his death and that an inquest was not required.
However, Harry’s family contested this, and secured an inquest having contacted the coroner directly themselves.
During the inquest, more than a dozen areas of concern were highlighted over the care of Harry and his mother, including failings in the way an ‘inexperienced’ doctor carried out the delivery, followed by delays in resuscitation.
The coroner found Harry’s death was contributed to by neglect. He had died seven days after his delivery from a condition caused by a lack of oxygen.
An independent report said he might have survived had there not been a delay in resuscitation at his birth that caused irreversible brain damage. The case prompted the review which has now taken place, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement. In June 2021 the Trust was fined £733,000 for failures following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) prosecution.
What did the investigation examine?
The Independent Investigation has examined maternity and neonatal services since 2009 (when the Trust came into being) by looking in particular at the following four areas:
- What happened at the time, in individual cases, independently assessed by the investigation?
- When things went wrong in individual cases, did the Trust respond and seek to learn lessons?
- How did the Trust respond to signals that there were problems with maternity services more generally, including in external reports?
- How did the Trust engage with the bodies involved and seek to apply the relevant messages? And what were the actions and responses of the regulators and commissioners?
How was the investigation conducted?
The investigation started on 23 April 2020 and several families came forward at that stage. On the 1st October 2020, as Chair of the Independent Panel, Dr Kirkup issued an invitation for more families to come forward, resulting in many more doing so.
The investigation considered:
- The experiences of families and the impact on them.
- The medical records of patients.
- Corporate records showing how the Trust discharged its responsibilities for maternity services.
- How the Trust communicated and engaged with patients, their families and representatives and with regulators and others over concerns with maternity services.
- Interviews with those whose work involved maternity services.
- Interviews with regulators, NHS England and Improvement, HSIB and others.
What did the findings reveal?
The report found that, from 202 cases reviewed, up to 45 babies may have survived had they received better treatment at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate. A further 12 babies may not have suffered brain damage and 23 mothers may not have died or been injured. Failings were also found in the care of a further 54 patients.
The report is to be published and presented to Parliament with the aim of agreeing with NHS England and NHS Improvement steps which can be taken to help ensure that the lessons identified are understood and acted upon.
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