Medical negligence

Support for those impacted by failings in maternity care

Recent news of another maternity unit being investigated for substandard care in the UK can be scary for expecting mothers. Our experts outline advice to empower those impacted by these scandals.

Holding baby to take first steps

What negligence can you experience during pregnancy?

Whether it’s a first pregnancy or a third or fourth, we put our trust into the medical professionals who are allocated to look after us. Many pregnancies and births are successful, with both mother and child going on to live happy and fulfilling lives, but it is extremely concerning to see how medical mistakes have caused harm, and even fatalities in a growing number of cases.

Common areas our medical negligence solicitors have supported clients with include:

  • Medication mismanagement
  • Failure to diagnose fetal or maternal health abnormalities leading to serious injury and/ or neonatal death
  • Failure to identify maternal infection
  • Failure to appropriately monitor a baby’s heart rate during labour and delivery
  • Delay in diagnosis and treatment of Group B Strep
  • Complications post-birth

What negligence can you experience during and after pregnancy?

Whilst a birth plan can be made with your midwife, sometimes it will not go to plan, and your experience is different from what was expected. During delivery, if something unexpected happens, we trust that medical staff can adapt to situations and manage risks effectively.

When medical situations arise, both mother and baby can suffer injuries, lifelong medical conditions and even fatalities due to negligence such as:

  • Injury to maternal organs or to babies as a result of surgical errors during C-sections or assisted births (ventouse or forceps)
  • Neurological/brain damage including conditions such as Erbs Palsy or Cerebral Palsy arising from a lack of oxygen and delayed birth
  • Maternal/fetal fractures
  • Failure to monitor maternal fluid intake causing seizures
  • Failure to identify and appropriately treat neonatal conditions (such as jaundice or hypoglycaemia)
  • Stillbirths
  • Maternal psychological injury from birth trauma
  • Failure to manage pre-eclampsia appropriately
  • Pre-term birth that could have been prevented by appropriate antenatal management

How can this be prevented?

Although the above indicate mass concern, recent reports into maternity care failings have found that many incidents that could have been avoided resulted from poor staff working culture, inconsistent adherence to national standards and poor governance following serious incidents.

Although we cannot change the NHS workplace culture in a day, it is important to know that expectant mothers have the right to challenge medical decisions and ask as many questions as they need to further understand their situation.

When to contact a solicitor

Deciding whether to pursue a claim is a very important decision, and advice from specialist lawyers who are extremely experienced in this area of law is essential.

An experienced medical negligence solicitor can help you recover costs for the likes of rehabilitation, future treatment, adaptations, aids and equipment, assistance, and care needs, as well as compensation for any suffering.

You should make your claim within three years from the date the negligence occurred or the date you were first aware that you’d suffered negligent treatment. If your claim is for your baby, then they have until their 21st birthday in which to make a claim however we would advise doing so as soon as possible as the later claims are brought, the more difficult they can be to succeed. Speaking to a solicitor at the earliest opportunity could help pay for the necessary treatment sooner, so you can begin to focus on recovery and access rehabilitation.

Our experience in maternity negligence and birth injury claims

Our medical negligence solicitors have many years’ experience and are considered experts within their field. The team have been involved in some of the most important and groundbreaking maternity negligence cases to date, including supporting clients who were victims of the recently convicted former nurse Lucy Letby.

We understand that pregnancy and maternity claims can be particularly sensitive, which is why we aim to make the process as easy as possible for everyone involved and ensure you can move forward knowing your solicitor did everything in their power to guarantee you received the best possible outcome.

Within our unique medical negligence team are in-house midwives who provide us with medical advice and assistance. Their expertise allows us to quickly determine when and where your medical treatment became substandard and the impact this had on yourself, and your baby.

To discuss your maternity negligence claim, get in touch with the team today by calling 0330 041 5869 or contacting us online.

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