Doubts cast over the Governments proposed birth injury scheme

31st May 2017

Doubts cast over the Governments proposed birth injury scheme

Bringing a new life into the world is one of the most fulfilling and happy occasions for any new mum or dad. But what if there are complications during birth that lead to brain damage as a result of medical negligence?

Currently, parents’ heartache at discovering their baby has sustained catastrophic injury is compounded by the long and arduous struggle to get the compensation required to cover lifelong special needs.

It is against this backdrop that the Government proposed its Rapid Response and Redress scheme, designed to quicken and simplify the process of securing funding.

But serious concerns have been raised that the scheme will fail to meet the needs of brain damaged children and their parents.

Brett Dixon, President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), of which Gotelee is a member, described the proposals as “crude”.

“It is the most heartbreaking of circumstances for new parents to discover their baby girl or boy has sustained catastrophic injuries from which he or she will never recover, and which could and should have been avoided,” he said.

“It is understandable that a supposed ‘rapid’ payment scheme, which promises resolution, might be appealing for families when faced with the often-daunting prospect of litigation.

“But while we support promises of early investigations, apologies, and shared learning in the scheme, the approach to damages is crude when compared to the proper assessment of a child’s needs which comes with litigation.”

Under the plans, the Rapid Response and Redress scheme will pay 90 per cent of an average court settlement, which APIL says “would be far away from the correct level of compensation for most families”.

APIL is also concerned that parents will be expected to attend initial meetings about their baby’s injuries without any independent advice or support – and should they change their minds later and opt to pursue compensation through the courts, rehabilitation and therapies already in place will be withdrawn.

Mr Dixon said: “The scheme will apply a factory-style process to dealing with injured children, putting their futures on a metaphorical conveyor belt. And once parents have bought into the scheme they will be held hostage by the terms.”

The Law Society has also noted a distinct absence of appropriate lawyer involvement throughout both stages of the scheme and believes improving the current system, rather than introducing a new scheme, is a better option.

How can our medical negligence lawyers help?

Gotelee has represented a number of parents who have been failed by the health service and who deserve the right to seek compensation so they can provide for their child’s lifelong needs.

By making a claim, you could receive the necessary financial help to deal with the consequences of an error, as well as helping to ensure the same mistake isn’t repeated.

Our team of Suffolk specialist medical negligence lawyers are experts in securing the right compensation for our clients. We pride ourselves on offering a compassionate and sensitive service.

To find out how we can help you, contact us on 01473 298125. We also have offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge or Melton.

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