New Government Compensation Scheme Launched for Children Injured at Birth

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has today launched a new scheme aimed at streamlining the process through which birth-related injuries are investigated within the NHS.

The Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme is intended to provide an alternate route for those seeking compensation when their child has been injured during birth, which in many cases can result in cerebral palsy. The scheme will see a team from outside the relevant Hospital Trust investigate the circumstances of the birth, which will then be reported to a panel of medical and legal experts who will decide whether it is appropriate to award compensation.

The scheme is voluntary and families can still proceed with a litigation claim if they are not satisfied with the findings.

Claire Stoneman is a partner who specialises in birth injury related claims. Claire says:

“It is difficult to comment before the full details of the scheme have been revealed, however, early indications are that this will be a positive step for maternity care in the UK.

“Caring for a brain injured child is an incredibly costly undertaking. Each package of care and support is complex and varied. If the Scheme helps to produce a new culture of transparency within the NHS, where settlements can be achieved more rapidly, that would be of enormous benefit to all.

“Families do need to have a full compensation package and we look forward to seeing more details about the scheme to ensure it does offer that. Hopefully it will be made clear to families participating in the scheme that they can still pursue a legal claim if they are unsatisfied with the outcome.”

If you or anyone you know has been affected by a birth related injury and would like some specialist legal advice please contact us.