NHSR Report Reveals 10 Year Low in Serious Birth Trauma Claims

22 July 2020

Leading Medical Negligence Solicitors have today welcomed the latest NHS Resolution report which revealed that claims for serious injuries at birth now stand at the lowest figure for over ten years.

National law firm Simpson Millar, which specialises in medical negligence cases and works with the NHSR on a collaborative basis to secure the best outcome for clients, praised the report’s findings and particularly the successes of the Early Notification Scheme which was implemented in 2017.

The scheme works to understand incidents which result in brain injury at birth, as well as holding events which see professionals gather and consider the scheme’s findings, before evaluating the best way to move forward in the delivery of safe maternity care.

However, while recognising the achievements of the scheme, Simpson Millar’s Head of Medical Negligence, Solicitor, Geoffrey Simpson-Scott is also calling on the NHSR to do more to support families ‘still suffering’ as a result of historic cases of negligence.

The call to action comes as it was revealed that an independent inquiry into maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust has now been expanded to include 1,862 cases of infant deaths and brain damage cases. For details see Medical Negligence Claims v Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

Geoffrey Simpson-Scott commented, “It’s great to see the NHSR’s findings regarding the success of the scheme and the positive impact which it’s having. However, we must not forget the many historic cases of negligence in maternity care; rather, we need to prioritise understanding these incidents and what lessons can be learnt from them.”

The NHSR report further detailed the success of mediation in reducing the number of claims leading to formal litigation.

The increased emphasis on mediation has been welcomed as a sign of the increasingly collaborative approach between healthcare professionals, Medical Negligence Solicitors and patients, ultimately reducing the financial and emotional costs involved in lengthy claims processes.

Commenting on the findings outlined in the report, Chair of the NHSR, Ian Dilks, said that the use of mediation to resolve disputes has ‘continued to increase and evolve', adding that ‘experience’ of the last two years shows the ‘benefits already achieved and gives pointers for increased future benefits’.

Geoffrey Simpson-Scott welcomed the report’s findings, saying, “We are committed to working with the NHSR to bring about the best possible outcome for our clients, and in many cases, mediation provides a strong platform on which to do so.

“Our commitment to ensuring we do what is right for our clients is at the heart of everything we do, and in instances where it is appropriate, we will always look to work with the NHSR to bring about a resolution.

“We believe that mediation in medical negligence cases plays a key role in this process - not only providing those who have suffered injury or loss as a result of negligence the opportunity to access the compensation and rehabilitation support they need to enable them to move forward with their lives, but also a platform through which they can have their voices heard, and to hear first hand what lessons have been learnt.”

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Southport.