NHS maternity services must do more to avoid needless catastrophic injuries to babies and reduce the compensation bill, said campaign lawyers this week.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is supporting a call from a committee of MPs for more focus on ensuring fewer tragic mistakes occur in the delivery room. The committee said that the bill for maternity clinical negligence claims is too high, and costs the NHS the equivalent of £700 per birth.
“Needless errors during labour can lead to the most catastrophic of injuries which require round-the-clock care for victims for the rest of their lives,” explained APIL president Matthew Stockwell.
“Such life-shattering injuries are expensive. A baby who is severely brain damaged cannot so much as feed, clothe, or bathe itself and will not lead the life it could, and should, have enjoyed. Claims for this type of negligence run into the millions of pounds.
“I couldn’t agree more that the way to cut the cost of compensation claims is to cut off the problem at its source – the failure to uphold reasonable standards of care for women and their babies”.
• The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its 40th report on maternity services in England. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmpubacc/776/77604.htm
• Photograph of Matthew Stockwell available on request.
• APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
• For more information contact APIL’s press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e: email@example.com.
• Visit the association’s website at www.apil.org.uk.
• Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.