Covid-19 Update: We are continuing to provide our usual services whilst maintaining the safety of clients and colleagues. Read our latest update here.

Complete the form below to ask us a question or make an enquiry. We’ll get back to you via phone or email as soon as possible.

Insights

Unsafe Maternity care has cost the NHS £8.2bn in 15 years

Posted on 22nd September 2021 in Medical Negligence

Posted by

Clair Hemming

Partner and Solicitor
Unsafe Maternity care has cost the NHS £8.2bn in 15 years

Having obtained figures from NHS Resolution the Independent reports on the cost of maternity negligence claims over the last 15 years.

They report that the cost of just one year’s maternity blunders could pay the starting salaries of more than 36,930 NHS nurses.  Also, that the number maternity claims has doubled in the last 10 years, with maternity claims representing almost 60% of the total payouts for claims against the NHS.

Clair Hemming, Partner and Clinical Negligence Solicitor commented:

These figures are staggering – and particularly so when put in the context of how many nursing salaries it would fund, and the initial reaction of most would be that this is not money being well spent.  We would all rather that these vast sums were used to pay for more medical staff, equipment and hospitals.  But the reality is that when a mother or child is injured, they must be compensated as a matter of principal, but also as a matter of need.  They have care needs, treatment needs, they have earnings that have been lost or never will be earned – there is a cost to the taxpayer in supporting them, putting to one side any moral obligations.

We need to look at why the number of maternity claims made have almost doubled in the past decade.  We need to stop focusing on the costs and instead focus on the cause, what is going wrong with our maternity services and why is that?   To coin a phrase “there is no claim without blame”. The question of whether our compensation legal system needs an overhaul because it is so costly obfuscates what the real issue is.

I support the recommendations of MP’s on the Health Committee for significant investment in maternity services.   We desperately need more midwives, but we also need more, better and continuous training.  We need to ensure that terrible scandals such as those at Shrewsbury & Telford, Nottingham and East Kent become a thing of the past. It is such an obvious point to make but investing to provide better care will reduce the cost to the NHS in damages and legal costs, but more importantly it will reduce the cost to human lives.

NHS Trusts also need to appreciate that closing ranks and covering up rather than being candid when mistakes are made, only serves to fuel the fire.   So many of my clients tell me that their decision to sue was ignited by the Trust’s attitude towards them, refusing to properly answer questions, adequately address their concerns and accept they did wrong.   This attitude also represents a missed opportunity to learn, if you do not accept you have made a mistake and examine why it happened, how do you prevent it happening again?    One of the prime motivations in bringing a claim for medical negligence for many victims is exactly this.

 

How we can help you

If you or your family have suffered because of medical negligence, we’ll help you to rebuild your life for the future. Contact us today and let us help you.

Contact our legal experts


 

Paper plane

 

Get the latest news straight from our legal experts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve current, dedicated, suppport and guidance from our solicitors straight to your inbox, wherever you are.

Company & Industry

Related Insights

Insights

New ‘Google Maps for Graves’ project

Posted on 20th October 2021 in Later Life Planning

There is a project that has been termed “Google maps for graves” which intends to map and photograph the Church of England’s 19,000 church graveyards, with the aim of recording every grave, headstone and memorial.

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Associate and Chartered Legal Executive
Insights

Estate planning for blended families

Posted on 20th October 2021 in Family Law, Probate & Wills

The increase in the number of families, comprising of different families that have been linked by new relationships, can complicate the process of inheritance, the creation and administration of Wills, and the distribution of estates.

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Associate and Chartered Legal Executive