How we support you through Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
You can be represented by a highly experienced birth injury lawyer, under our No Win, No Fee agreement. You only pay a pre-agreed percentage of the compensation awarded if your case is successful, so there are no upfront costs to worry about during what is an already distressing time for you and your family.
Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
Serious Incident Reports
Infant deaths are at their lowest since records began but nevertheless, 2,226 children aged under one year died in England and Wales in 2020 and many more children and mothers suffer serious birth injury.
At Hudgell Solicitors our birth injury lawyers help parents get the answers as to how a baby loss, a stillbirth, miscarriage or birth injury happened and, if necessary, hold hospitals, doctors and NHS Trusts to account.
The process of getting answers can be daunting for parents who often feel overwhelmed by serious investigation reports that can follow baby loss or a birth injury.
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) & HSIB Report experts
Hudgell Solicitors are regularly contacted by patients and their families when an investigation is underway or when they receive a Serious Incident report into the loss of a baby or a serious birth injury.
In some incidents, the circumstances surrounding the birth may trigger a Health Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report which runs alongside but independent of the root cause analysis.
Each is a tragedy for the family involved and understandably parents will want to seek answers.
Our dedicated maternity negligence solicitors can help them understand these reports and their findings, which can often be complex.
We would encourage anyone who has received an RCA or HSIB maternity report, or if one is already underway, to contact us for a free consultation where we can answer your questions and concerns.
Specialists in Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
Some of the more usual maternity & childbirth errors we see where Root Cause Analysis Reports are called for relate to:
- Maternal deaths
- Birth injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erbs Palsy
- Brachial Plexus
- Obstetrics & Gynaecology Negligence
Investigation Reports can be useful to explain what happened and why and whether there were any lapses in the care provided.
If you believe you’ve suffered negligent maternity care you can contact our pregnancy & birth injury team today.
Support with Serious Investigation Reports
NHS Investigation Reports can have different names:
- Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) Maternity report.
- Maternity & Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) programme.
- NHS Resolution’s Early Notification (EN) Scheme
- Serious Incident Report (SIR).
- Serious Untoward Incident (SUI) report.
- Root Cause Analysis (RCA) report.
- Patient Safety Incident Investigation (PSII) report.
Regardless of the name the process is similar, and the reports are produced by Hospital Trusts following an investigation into a serious incident and can highlight lapses in care and identify steps which can be taken to prevent such incidents from happening again.
For some, an NHS Investigation Report can lead to a successful medical negligence claim and a compensation award.
What investigations follow baby loss, stillbirth or birth injury?
If a serious incident is being investigated and a report is being produced the hospital will contact families to invite them to be involved. Our birth injury lawyers can advise families on what to expect and what questions should be asked during the process, these are some of the investigations that could be carried out.
Serious Incident Reports
Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) and Maternity & Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) programme
These HSIB maternity investigations look at factors that have harmed or may harm NHS patients and they work closely with patients, families and healthcare staff, but they do not attribute blame or liability.
The aim is to share learning and to make safety recommendations that improve safety at a national level. Around a thousand independent maternity safety reviews are carried out each year.
Child Death Review
A Child Death Review must be carried out for all children regardless of the cause of death. This includes the death of any live-born baby where a death certificate has been issued. For the avoidance of doubt, it does not include stillbirths, late fetal loss, or terminations of pregnancy.
A Child Death Review may not happen until 12 months following the death.
The Child Death Review Meeting (CDRM) should be attended by professionals who were directly involved in the care of the child during his or her life, and any professionals involved in the investigation into his or her death.
A Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) of doctors, other health specialists and childcare professionals consider the information, to try to ascertain what caused the death, what support and treatment was offered to the child and their family up until the death, and what support was offered to the family after the child died.
It is required to consider whether any preventable factors contributed to the death and it decides whether there are any recommendations and actions needed to help prevent similar child deaths in the future.
Whatever the type of review or investigation that was or is being carried out Hudgell Solicitors’ can support families through the process.
The process of getting answers can be daunting for parents who often feel overwhelmed by the number of reviews and investigations that can be launched following a birth injury or baby but our experts can help you receive the answers you seek.
National Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT) Report
Sometimes babies die because of the quality-of-care mums and babies receive.
An enquiry in 2015 found that in 60 per cent of cases, a stillbirth might have been prevented if health professionals had followed national or relevant local guidelines.
The National Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT) was launched in 2018 and aims to provide answers for bereaved parents and their families about why their baby died.
Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership says in the last year 3,981 reviews were carried out across the UK, 97% of which identified at least one issue with care (with an average of four issues per death – increasing to five issues per death where the baby was born at term). Other key findings include:
Inadequate fetal growth surveillance was identified as relevant in 9% of deaths reviewed and remains the most common single issue
Inadequate investigation or management of reduced fetal movement was the second most common single issue (relevant in 8% of deaths reviewed)
NHS Resolution’s Early Notification (EN) Scheme
This investigates child brain injuries at birth to determine if negligence has caused the harm. The aim is to speed up investigations into such incidents give answers to families as soon as possible and improve the process for obtaining compensation.
Ensuring you get the maternity care compensation you deserve
£2.4m interim damages award is ‘life-changing’ for severely disabled 12-year-old and family as they can finally buy home they need
A High Court Judge’s ruling to award £2.4m interim damages to a severely disabled 12-year-old Claimant has been hailed as a ‘life-changing’ decision for the girl and her family following a struggle to find suitable accommodation. The Claimant sustained a hypoxic brain injury due to errors made during her birth, leaving her suffering from quadriplegic […]
Hudgell Solicitors secures £14.3m damages for boy left brain damaged after midwives failed to realise he was starved of oxygen at birth
A £14.3m damages settlement has been approved for a boy left brain damaged after midwives failed to properly monitor his heart rate during birth and therefore didn’t realise he was starved of oxygen. The boy, now 17, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, needed resuscitating after being born. The consequent brain damage means that […]
A pregnant woman who developed sepsis and needed admitting to intensive care after a hospital’s surgical error has been awarded damages. The woman was 17 weeks pregnant when she attended the Emergency Department at Colchester Hospital in August 2019, suffering from severe abdominal pains. She was diagnosed with appendicitis and underwent surgery to remove her […]
Hospital agrees compensation after failing to investigate mother’s concerns about her unborn baby which died days later
A mother who suffered the tragic stillbirth of her first child has been awarded damages after hospital staff failed to investigate when she raised concerns about her unborn baby’s reduced movements. The mother believes her baby may have been born alive if the London hospital had carried out a risk assessment 38 weeks into her […]
A Lincolnshire woman who suffered continued bleeding and an infection when a piece of placenta was left inside her after giving birth says she raised concerns which were ‘ignored’ by midwives. The 30-year-old mother, who lives near Gainsborough, says she told midwives that she felt something was wrong at the time, but was discharged from […]
How to make a negligence claim following a Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
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.
What is maternity care negligence?
Negligence during pregnancy, at birth or post-natal can happen due to oversights, incorrect advice or a failure from medical professionals to take into account pre-existing medical conditions and medication.
Maternity teams, including doctors, midwives or gynaecologists have a duty of care to identify and manage any risks or complications. If accurate and timely advice and recommendations are not provided this can result in medical negligence.
Maternity negligence can result in lifelong conditions for both child and mother.
Examples of medical negligence during pregnancy where Hudgell Solicitors have successfully represented clients include:
- Failure to identify birth defects such as Down’s syndrome and cystic fibrosis and other conditions which may result in stillbirth.
- Failure to monitor a mother’s existing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
- Failure to diagnose illnesses, complications and injuries such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental abruption and ectopic pregnancies.
- Miscarriage negligence as a result of a woman not being adequately monitored when she is known to be at high risk during pregnancy.
- Failure to manage complications either before or at the time of birth can sometimes lead to lifelong birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, Erbs palsy and brachial plexus.
Other mistakes which can lead to babies being born harmed include:
- Failure to carry out appropriate tests during pregnancy.
- Misinterpretation of scans, leading to an incorrect diagnosis/treatment.
- Failure to act upon reduced baby movements during pregnancy.
- Failure to act when a mother’s blood pressure reaches dangerous levels.
- Failure to carry out cesarean births when signs point to potential harm.
- Errors during delivery causing injury, such as use of forceps or ventouse.
Birth Injuries where Hudgell Solicitors represents clients include:
- Cord prolapse
- Cord compression
- Uterine rupture
- Hypoxia/Lack of oxygen
- Ruptured placenta
- Kernicterus caused by untreated janudice
- Group B Streptococcus
What are the time limits for making a medical negligence claim?
If aged 18 and over, you will typically have three years from the date that the negligence occurred or from the date that you became aware of negligent treatment. For under-18s, there is no time limit. However, once a child reaches 18, the standard 3-year claim period comes into effect.
How will Hudgell Solicitors help my birth injury claim?
Our expert childbirth injury solicitors will:
- Carry out initial fact-finding by discussing with you what happened, what went wrong and the impact it has had on your life.
- Inform the healthcare provider of our investigation into the care they provided, requesting relevant medical records and details of examinations and treatment.
- Analyse medical records, work out what went wrong, and what could have been done to prevent any injuries and conditions from occurring.
- Seek independent medical opinion to determine whether a mother or child’s injuries could and should have been prevented, with proper care and treatment.
- Make a decision, based on the evidence gathered, as to whether we are in a position to make an official claim for damages to compensate for the suffering and hardship caused.
- Should admissions of negligence be secured, consider an application for interim payments to cover the cost of any immediate needs for a child and family.
- Seek to negotiate a birth injury settlement out of court which reflects the injury and loss caused, including damages to cover any future care and assistance required.
Why should I choose Hudgell Solicitors for a birth injury claim?
Our experienced legal team is supported by in-house medical experts – including a registered midwife – meaning we are able to fully assess cases and the standard of treatment provided.
We listen to your questions and provide free, expert advice to help you decide if you want to start a birth negligence claim. There is no commitment at this stage, but it will enable our lawyers to assess whether your case can be taken forward and inform you what the next steps will be.
Should we feel we can pursue a compensation claim on your behalf, a specialist medical negligence lawyer will be assigned and dedicated to supporting you through your case. They will explain, in plain, non-legal language, what is likely to be needed from you at each stage of the process, including what evidence and information will need to be obtained.
How much will my claim cost?
Birth injury cases are handled on a no win, no fee basis. This means you will not have to pay any money upfront and there will be no financial risk if your case is unsuccessful. If your case is successful, you will only be expected to pay a contribution to your solicitor’s fees once the case has been resolved.
We also offer Legal Aid funding for certain types of birth injury compensation claims. This is usually for claims involving children who have a neurological injury that has resulted in severe disability, which has been sustained either through pregnancy, during the birth or the first eight weeks of the child’s life. Get in touch to discuss how Legal Aid can help you fund your claim.
Only accredited specialists in birth injury claims have a legal aid franchise that allows them to represent families when a child suffers a neurological injury before, during or no later than eight weeks from birth.
Hudgell Solicitors is proud to be one of only a small number of firms to offer this service so we can ensure families are not left out of pocket when seeking the compensation and support they will require, often for the rest of their child’s life.
Every birth injury case involving a child will be assessed for public funding eligibility.
How much compensation do you get for maternity negligence?
Compensation for maternity negligence and birth trauma can vary vastly depending upon the severity of injury and loss suffered. Traumatic birth compensation or compensation for a birth injury to a mother may vary greatly when compared to birth injury compensation claims where a child faces long-term effects.
For life-long injuries, such as Cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy, damages can be awarded into many millions of pounds, as this money is required to cover the cost of round-the-clock care and home adaptations.
- Damages are awarded to help families through difficult times without the added worry of the financial implications of additional medical care or other costs. These can include:
- Damages for the pain and suffering caused to the mother or child due to a doctor or medical staff member’s negligence.
- Funding for required care, equipment or household adjustments.
- Medical expenses incurred by seeking specialist healthcare to deal with the injuries or afflictions following a birth injury.
- Loss of earnings for you or a loved one acting as a carer due to the injuries sustained.
- Funeral expenses in the event of a patient dying due to birth negligence, whether this is the mother or child.
Expertise. Trust. Authority
The term wrongful birth is used when babies are born with injuries or disabilities which medical professionals should have detected during pregnancy. A failure to inform mothers/parents denies them the opportunity to take a very difficult decision as to whether to continue with the pregnancy. Listen to Samantha Darwin, a senior medical negligence solicitor, explain […]
Investigations following baby loss with Theresa Greenwood, a clinical support executive in birth injury compensation claims & Keith Phillips. Sadly, around 2,000 children aged under one die in England and Wales each year. Each is a tragedy for the family involved and parents will understandably want to seek answers as to why it happened. Listen […]
Almost 80 per cent of all child disabilities are detected by their parents; seeing their children every day they are naturally best placed to detect intellectual and developmental delays. Asking questions and seeking expert advice over such concerns can lead to an early diagnosis of conditions such as cerebral palsy. Importantly, it can also secure […]