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This article was published on October 17th, 2016
The government has introduced a new compensation scheme which intends to settle cases quickly to ease the emotional pain and financial pressure parents suffer after a baby sustains injury during or after birth. In 2015, the NHS spent more than £500m in pay outs over birth injuries caused by clinical negligence and the scheme hopes to speed up the process by which families receive financial support and maternity departments learn from the errors they made.
The scheme is called the ‘Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme’ and it aims to settle cases quicker than the current system which can take up to 11 years to come to a court settlement. The scheme hopes to provide an open and transparent environment for medical staff to explain what happened and why and to learn from any mistakes to prevent them happening again.
This new scheme would look into 500 cases of injury to babies which was avoidable, during or after birth, each year.
The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, wants to end the blame culture that he believes currently exists and provide a quicker resolution to allow parents to provide for their children’s needs as and when they need it rather than wait years for any financial recompense.
The scheme will not replace current compensation laws as parents can still take their NHS Trusts to court if they wish to but it may take a lot longer to get a settlement if the case is successful.
A recent case in point is that of Felix Thompson-Bland who was born prematurely and tragically he had jaundice which was not spotted in time by medical staff so he suffered brain damage as a result of complications.
He is now 10 years old, wheelchair bound and has cerebral palsy which causes uncontrollable spasms. Although his parents were successful in their claim for clinical negligence, it did take a long time for the case to be settled.
His mother commented: “It was a very, very long, very painful process while trying to come to terms with what had happened.
“The fight was worth it because we have a package of care for him which means he’s safe, ultimately.”
Money is often no consolation for such a tragic incident but sadly medical negligence like this does sometimes happen and the compensation is invaluable when it comes to providing support to the injured party and their family. If you have been unfortunate enough to have experienced a traumatic experience in hospital then contact us now at Thorneycroft Solicitors today for a free no-obligation assessment of your case on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form.
Our medical negligence solicitors are dedicated to maximising the compensation for medical negligence available on a no win – no fee basis.