Group B Strep – five good reasons to talk to a lawyer

 

Claire Stoneman - Enable LawIf your baby has been affected by Group B Strep we know that talking to a medical negligence lawyer about a legal claim is not a priority. However, what we also know is that if the infection was contracted due to an avoidable medical mistake, a specialist solicitor can help to find out what went wrong.

So why should you talk to us?

1. We investigate

Losing a baby or having a child who survives with long term disabilities is a tragic, life altering event. We can investigate whether something went wrong that was avoidable during your pregnancy or labour and try to obtain answers to your questions about your treatment. If we find that what happened was no one’s fault, we will always tell you. If we find out that your child’s death/stillbirth or disability was avoidable, we will claim compensation for you and also request that changes are made to try to ensure that this doesn’t happen to someone else.

2. We know how to make people listen

Something that happens a lot with Group B Strep is that the concerns of the parents are ignored by the medical team and internal procedures which could have detected the infection were ignored or overlooked. We will fight on your behalf to make sure that lessons are learned for the future and to understand why these mistakes were made.

3. We understand

We can only imagine how such a tragic event has affected your family. However, because of our specialist knowledge and experience of dealing with many families for many years we know the issues you are facing. We can’t change what happened but we can help with what happens next. We have acted for many clients who unfortunately have been where you are now and helped them to find out what happened to their child. We are here to take you through the process and provide the support that you need.

4. A legal claim can really increase your support network

Our clients often don’t realise that bringing a medical negligence claim can unlock support from more than just a lawyer. If your child has been seriously injured, we can appoint a case manager to oversee their recovery and arrange for specialists to help with issues ranging from rehabilitation, to providing a care team, to finding a suitable new home and carrying out adaptations which make it accessible for your disabled child.

5. It’s not about the money, but it can really help

For many of our clients, any damages awarded are secondary to knowing that their voices have finally been heard and their child’s injury has not been in vain. That doesn’t change the fact that the money is there to provide security for your family and ensure that you are able to access the support which your child and your family needs.

So please, pick up the phone or email us to see if we can help. If you’d like to know more about our work, Claire Stoneman, a partner in our medical negligence team, had this to say:

Claire, as a parent learning about Group B Strep for the first time, what do you think the most important thing to do is?

Visit the Group B Strep Support (GBSS) website at http://www.gbss.org.uk/ and read the wealth of information that has been put together in an easily accessible format.  I really can’t recommend it highly enough.  A third of adults carry GBS – this is normal and nothing to be scared of.  Most babies won’t be affected but the best thing to do is to ensure you are aware of the tests that are available, the matters that might make you high risk and the treatment that should be offered to you if you do carry GBS.

As a stillbirth and neonatal death specialist lawyer, it must be very worrying to know that avoidable GBS deaths are happening?

Of course. Any avoidable stillbirth or neonatal death is devastating.  It has an everlasting impact on not only parents and siblings but also on the wider family and friends. Nothing is ever quite the same again.  If only one lesson could be learnt from every avoidable death and changes implemented that would be a step in the right direction.  Every baby that comes into this world counts and every death should as well.

On the flipside, how do you feel about the efforts of GBSS to spread the word?

GBSS is a fantastic charity that as a partner in Enable Law I am extremely proud to support. The work that Jane, Oliver and the rest of the team do is quite remarkable.  Jane is a force to be reckoned with on the campaigning front, and it is due to people like her and her family that changes are made to medical care and practices which hopefully ensure that more babies survive.

Finally, why do you think it is important for parents of a baby affected by GBS to talk to a lawyer?

As I have mentioned, this will be an extremely emotional time. Trying to navigate your way through the grief process whilst you have lots of unanswered questions is exhausting, confusing and frustrating.  We are here to support families at this time, to hold their hand through this process and find answers that hopefully lead to some peace.  I am a great believer in litigation being an aid to change, and that bringing legal claims when an injury was avoidable leads to improved care for others in the future.

We also asked Jane Plumb, Chief Executive of GBSS the same question – why do you think it is important for parents of a baby affected by GBS to have access to lawyers at firms such as Enable Law?

“It is so important that families who want to explore a possible clinical negligence claim relating to group B Strep speak with lawyers who have real expertise and experience of group B Strep cases, and who appreciate what the families are going through. They need to know that the lawyer not only understands the medical position and the care that should be provided, but also the emotional consequences for families and the questions they might have.

“For us partnerships with firms such as Enable Law are crucial – we are able to signpost families to their specialist lawyers, but our relationship goes far beyond that. They also support us with raising awareness with families and health professionals about the dangers of group B Strep to help reduce avoidable cases.”