01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Changes to the birth injury compensation process must see appropriate care and support for families remain priority at all times

Changes to the birth injury compensation process must see appropriate care and support for families remain priority at all times

Tiny Toes


By Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, vice-chairman of the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers (SCIL) and Head of Clinical Negligence at Hudgell Solicitors London.

A new system of fast-track compensation for children who suffer brain damage or from cerebral palsy as a result of medical errors during birth has today been revealed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

As somebody who has spent the last 25 years supporting the parents of children with such injuries due to medical negligence, and fighting for better and speedier access to compensation, I would certainly welcome any changes which will better support families.

Under the new plans, it is said parents with a maternity claim would be able to join a voluntary “rapid resolution and redress” scheme.

This would see their case assessed by independent investigators, and their findings would then be presented to a panel of legal and medical experts to decide whether compensation is warranted, and arrange for payments to be made.

It all sounds so simple, but unfortunately, these cases are not.

Yes, such a system may be ideal if the primary aim is to save the NHS money and fast-track hundreds of cases of neglect.

I would hope the primary focus of any new birth injury compensation scheme would be to reduce the numbers of errors on maternity wards causing these life-long struggles for children and their families.

The priority should also be ensuring that when these errors do occur, families have the support required to ensure they and their children can live as comfortable a life as possible.

The main reason these cases take a long time to settle is because the child needs to be old enough to be assessed and at least have started school. Care costs are awarded on a yearly basis for life.

The full impact of brain injuries from birth – often linked with a failure to monitor babies’ heart rates or to detect risks of oxygen starvation – very rarely, if ever, become fully apparent until a child has started to develop and mature.

Only then is the full impact of the injuries suffered, and financial and physical support required, fully understood and able to be assessed.

Equally, I have seen many cases where initial assessments have indicated an expectation that a child may not live beyond one or two years, but they have in fact then gone on to live long lives. In such cases, only on-going legal support has ensured they have been provided with all they have needed to get some quality of life.

Another area of concern for me is the access to local care and equipment under the proposed scheme. I can’t begin to imagine how parents would go about accessing the care and therapies  they need in their local communities, and how would they find the mobility equipment required via the NHS, knowing how limited resources are in many parts of the country.

In many areas such support and equipment simply isn’t there, and it needs private funding and expertise – gained over years of supporting families in this situation – to fill what is a massive void in the system.

Mr Hunt says there is too much of a ‘blame culture’ and a fear of ‘litigation or worry about damage to reputation or careers’ when mistakes are made, and with that in mind it is very positive to hear that NHS staff who own up to blunders will get legal protection from prosecution based on their own evidence, although they could rightly still face sanctions if guilty of malpractice or negligence.

It appears that Mr Hunt and the Department of Health have perhaps identified – although maybe not fully recognised – the main issue in all of this.

Blame isn’t the focus, and is never the aim of a legal case.

When we set out to represent a family, finding out who was to blame is never the goal, we simply seek to ensure children and families who have been badly let down are fully supported for a long and challenging life ahead.

A more open culture, where errors are admitted candidly, can shift the entire focus immediately and see all parties work together on the rehabilitation and care requirements of the injured party and their families.

Lessons will be learned and changes and improvement will be made, but not at the expense of the Child at the centre of each and every one of these claims.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

First Class service

"Hudgell Solicitors are currently working on my case and I must say so far the… "

Emma Jeeves

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 455 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90