The report is covered across the media, links to which can be found at the bottom of this page.

It should be noted, compensation payments are designed to put the injured individual into the position they would have been if the negligence had not occurred. The payments are not designed to punish the defendants and compensation awards to those under the age of 18 or incapable of managing their own affairs have to be approved by the Court as being at an amount that is in the best interests of the injured individual.

Anthony Collins Solicitors have successfully recovered many multi-million pound settlements for their clients in the last decade. It is true to say that the higher value claims which arise from this type of litigation will be related to catastrophic injuries leading to the claimant requiring care throughout their life, which is of course an expensive obligation. Many of the claims will involve payments for future care made on a yearly basis (‘periodical payments’) for the duration of the individual's life. It is not clear whether the report has calculated the possible payments for the natural lifespan of the claimants in reaching the figure of £3.1 billion, though it is likely to have done so.

It should be remembered that there are many other types of claim which can arise during the maternity care period; the mother can be caused urological or gynaecological injury due to negligence and many parents suffer psychological injury due to the loss of a child as a still birth or in the child’s very early life due to negligence. Anthony Collins Solicitors has many years' experience in obtaining compensation for the victims in these scenarios. The chief executive of the NHSLA has noted that the £3.1 billion figure relates to only approximately 5000 cases, this is of course a low proportion when compared to the amount of people treated successfully by maternity departments across the NHS.

There is an indication within the report that a significant proportion of the £3.1 billion figure “goes in to lawyers pockets”. Unfortunately we all too often see claims in which a clear error has occurred and yet is still fought for many years. Although litigation of this kind is complex, legal fees could be greatly reduced by an early admission of liability by the NHSLA where appropriate. Such prompt action by the NHSLA would cut down legal fees for claimants and defendants and enable claimants to make as full a recovery as early as possible. This in turn could reduce the level of damages paid and minimise an already stressful situation.

Clinical negligence litigation due to legal aid cuts and the legislative restrictions on funding has an uncertain future. However, here at Anthony Collins Solicitors we remain committed to achieving compensation for the victims of negligent care, to allow them to be properly cared for and to give them the best chance of achieving as close to the quality of life they could have expected before the negligence. Our Tony Hall and Rankeshwar Batta (pictured above) have been classed as elite clinical negligence claimant lawyers in the 2012 edition of the Legal 500. They are additionally both members of the Law Society Clinical Negligence panel and the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) panel. The clinical negligence and personal injury team undertakes work on a legal aid, privately paying, conditional fee (“no win no fee”) and Legal Expenses Insurance basis.

Our particular specialism and commitment to claims arising from the maternity period can be demonstrated by our employment of Elizabeth Laws who is a qualified Midwife as a Medico-Legal Assistant. She allows us to review cases from a qualified perspective and with a view to pursuing those claims where the injured person has suffered an injury due to a standard of care below that to which they are entitled.

For more information

For more information on claims of this kind or any clinical negligence matter please contact Elizabeth Laws on 0121 212 7479 or elizabeth.laws@anthonycollins.com.

Related links

See article on The Guardian, The Royal College of Midwifery and The Independent.

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