Government figures - 105 birth-injured babies received settlements exceeding £1m in 2018/2019

Government figures - 105 birth-injured babies received settlements exceeding £1m in 2018/2019

Earlier this year, the government confirmed that in the 2018/2019 financial year, the NHS made 105 compensation settlements of over £1million to babies disabled for life by medical negligence.

In the same year, Boyes Turner’s cerebral palsy team achieved final settlements in 10 such claims for our severely birth-injured clients. Many more of our clients who are still at earlier stages of their claims received liability judgments and interim payments. A comparison of our own brain-damaged baby claims data with the stated figures for the NHS overall clearly demonstrates the strength of our market share, the scope and depth of our experience, and justifies our reputation as leading experts in this complex and life-changing area of the law.

How compensation helps after maternity and neonatal negligence

For over 30 years, Boyes Turner’s highly skilled medical negligence team has helped families of brain-damaged babies rebuild their lives by claiming their entitlement to compensation after maternity and neonatal mistakes. When every aspect of a child’s life has been affected by cerebral palsy -  impairing their ability to sit, stand or walk, to feed or communicate, to sleep safely or care for their personal needs, to mobilise or travel, to learn, to work or to participate in family, social or leisure pursuits -  compensation provides a lifeline to care, equipment, therapies, specialist education and accessible accommodation. Our clients’ injuries are permanent and can never be taken away, but we can, and regularly do, make a real difference to their remaining quality of life.

Compensation for severe, life-changing, permanent disability is not a windfall. It is a necessity in a just society. It must remain a legal right for patients who have been harmed by negligent medical treatment.

Will the NHS ever learn?

The 2018/2019 figures are shocking in that they reflect the extent of the avoidable harm to babies that was acknowledged by the NHS and compensated in just one year. They are even more so when one considers how unlikely it is that NHS maternity standards will improve enough to meet the government’s National Maternity Safety Ambition to halve the numbers of avoidable maternal and neonatal deaths, stillbirths and birth-related brain injuries by 2025.

Whilst genuine initiatives such as RCOG’s Each Baby Counts, GIRFT and MBRRACE work to identify and confront the true causes of maternity mistakes, NHS maternity safety scandals continue to hit the headlines, revealing the scale of maternity and neonatal care negligence and the ongoing system-wide deception designed to hide these errors from injured patients and the general public. Each of the hundreds of cases being investigated represents yet another injured child and family. Their negligently caused injuries deserve to be compensated.

We totally disagree with the government’s misguided campaign to persuade the public that, by claiming their entitlement to compensation, families of birth-injured babies are impliedly to blame for the NHS’s inability to learn from its mistakes and reduce avoidable harm.  The focus has to be on avoiding the injuries in the first place rather than making those who have suffered injury feel guilty about seeking financial compensation for the life changing injuries that have been caused.

Boyes Turner remain committed to helping babies and families who have been severely injured by negligent maternity and neonatal care recover their full entitlement to compensation to give them a fighting chance of living safe, meaningful and fulfilling lives.

If you or your child have been seriously injured by maternity or neonatal negligence, contact the cerebral palsy team by email on cerebralpalsy@boyesturner.com

I try to assist lawyers by explaining, in clear and comprehensible terms, what the relevant issues are and where the strengths and weaknesses of the case lie.

DR PETER DEAR

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