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Each Baby Counts, an initiative led by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, have recently published their second annual report  looking at the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled as a result of incidents occurring during term labour.

The report findings are based on the analysis of data from 2016 and key points include:

  • Of nearly 700,000 term babies born in the UK in 2016 the total number of babies that fulfilled the “Each Babies Counts” criteria was 1123. Of these there were 11% stillbirths, 13% early neonatal deaths and 765 severe brain injuries.
  • Of the 955 babies where the review had sufficient information to draw conclusions about the quality of care, the Each Baby Counts reviewers concluded that 674 babies, equating to 71%, might have had a different outcome with different care.
  • The main themes identified where improvements could have been made were failure by health professionals to identify or act upon relevant risk factors, issues related to monitoring of fetal wellbeing with CTG and blood sampling, and education or training issues.

 

More details on the findings and recommendations can be found by clicking here.

 

 

NHS Resolution, which was formerly NHS Litigation Authority, has published research on the motivation of patients making a compensation claim when something has gone wrong with their healthcare.

The research, which was conducted in partnership with The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), surveyed 728 patients who had made a claim and looked at the incident that had occurred, how the patient felt it had been handled, how any subsequent complaint had been handled and the factors that led to the patient making a claim for compensation.  BIT also did an in-depth telephone interview with 20 past claimants.

The findings show that, in general, the research participants were not satisfied with the reactions of NHS staff following an incident or how their complaint was handled within the NHS.

It found that:

  • 63% of patients who responded felt that they did not receive an explanation for why the incident occurred.
  • Only 31% said they felt they had received an apology.
  • 71% of the people responding did not think that their healthcare provided undertook any actions to investigate the incident in the first instance.
  • Only 6% of respondents felt that actions were taken that would prevent the same incident happening again.
  • The majority rated the response to their complaint as ‘poor or very poor’ in terms of accuracy, empathy, speed of the response and level of detail.

 

It also found that both internal and external factors motivated patients to make a claim.  Personal motivations included:

  • Wanting to prevent similar things happening to others.
  • Wanting to receive an apology or an explanation for the incident, or to trigger a detailed investigation of the incident.
  • Wanting the clinicians involved to be held to account.
  • Emotional responses (e.g. frustration and anger) brought about by poor incident or complaint handling.
  • Financial compensation.

External motivations included:

  • Suggestions from NHS staff that making a claim would be appropriate
  • Advertising
  • Conversations with friends, family and wider social network

 

Helen Vernon, who is Chief Executive at NHS Resolution, said “This research confirms that claims for compensation can sometimes be made in the search of answers, which could have been provided when the incident occurred. Being open with patients when they suffer avoidable harm and taking tangible steps to learn from what happened are essential. We would like to thank the patients who spared the time to contribute to this valuable research, which will help us to build on our work with the NHS to improve the response when things go wrong.”

 

Full details of the research conducted can be found on the NHS Resolution website.

The Legal 500 has recognised Brindley Twist Tafft & James and recommended our Clinical Negligence department.

Seen as the leading guide to law firms and solicitors across the UK, the Legal 500 is an independent directory.

 

The 2018 results, which were recently published, recommends BTTJ’s clinical negligence department with the results reflecting the work the department covers relating to cerebral palsy, brain damage, gynaecology and orthopaedics.  Tom Barnes, Partner, and Richard Stanford, Solicitor from the Clinical Negligence department both received a special mention.  The publication recognises that Tom Barnes is ‘highly experienced‘, ‘has  a great case load‘ and ‘is popular with clients‘ and that Richard Stanford is ‘excellent‘, ‘clever‘, ‘hard working‘ and ‘canny‘.

Also recognised from Brindley Twist Tafft & James was our Corporate and Commercial department.  Samantha Wright, who is the Senior Partner at BTTJ, was recommended for her work in this field along with John Chadaway, Partner and Public Notary.

More information on the Legal 500 rankings can be found on the following links:

bttj.info/2JHjWnG

bttj.info/2JIYdvG 

 

Birth injuries are very complex and demanding cases that require the specialist knowledge of experienced solicitors to ensure you are rightly compensated.

Our solicitors have successfully settled many birth injury claims.

During birth there can be injury to the mother, the baby or both. Some of these birth injuries are unavoidable, but there are a number of cases where injuries are caused by medical negligence.

Birth injuries to the mother can have devastating and life-long consequences.

Mothers are entitled to seek compensation for birth injuries they have suffered. As a mother, the injuries you can claim for include; incorrect suturing (stitching) subsequent to a Caesarean section, failure to manage pre-eclampsia or other infections, perineal tears which if not treated properly can lead to longstanding problems; retained products of conception, in the event of a miscarriage there is the risk of tissue remaining in the uterus which can lead to bleeding and infection; nervous shock following a traumatic birth.

Mothers are also entitled to seek compensation for the psychological affects of a traumatic delivery.  Mothers who struggle with psychological birth injuries suffer understandable stress and are more likely to endure depression and  post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We have successfully concluded many birth injury negligence cases and are experts in the field.

We will ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of your birth injury.

 

 

 

Figures in the annual report of NHS Resolution, which handles litigation against the Health Service, show that parents made 232 claims against maternity units after newborns suffered cerebral palsy or brain damage in 2016/17.  This is a 23% rise from the 188 reported a year earlier.

 

Peter Walsh who is the chief executive of the charity Action against Medical Accidents has commented that ‘More research needs to be done to understand what is leading the increase, but moving away from the cult-like fixation with so-called ‘normal birth’ is a step in the right direction’

‘It is likely that this and also staffing issues has led to delays in intervention to protect babies and their mothers.’
‘No mother should be made to feel abnormal because an intervention is needed, and patient safety should always be the first concern.’

You can read the full story as reported in the Daily Mail here