The Government has just announced a new compensation scheme which may help parents in England whose children are injured at birth.
The new Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme, which is out for consultation, is intended to allow medical staff to speak openly about failings in maternity care, to learn from mistakes so that they can be avoided in the future, and to settle complaints more quickly.
Over 500 cases of avoidable harm to babies during birth occur each year in England, and in future, these would be investigated by the proposed scheme.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said, currently, families could wait more than 11 years for a court settlement. He said he wanted speedier resolutions and to get away from a “blame culture”.
However, parents who believe medical errors have caused severe damage to their children, such as cerebral palsy or brain damage, would still be able to take their cases to court if they wanted to.
The Health Secretary has also announced other measures designed to improve the safety of maternity care in the NHS.
- £8 million for training
- a £250,000 fund to pilot new ideas for improving maternity care
- maternity ratings for every clinical commissioning group across the NHS
- a national quality improvement programme involving all maternity units
The Government’s commitment of resources to reduce deaths has been commended by Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal charity and Scope, the disability charity.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors has many years experience of representing clients who have suffered due to medical errors during childbirth. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of poor care from a medical professional, please feel free to call us for a no obligation discussion on 0116 254 7456.