Pryers Solicitors

Premature Babies at a Greater Risk Of Medical Negligence

Baby charity Bliss have reported that 70% of intensive baby care units in the UK are caring for more babies than is considered safe.

It states that last year 850 babies were transferred between units because of a lack of space or staff in the unit they were in.

Over 100 of those babies were ventilated.

Caroline Davey, CEO of Bliss, said: “There have been some welcome improvements, but we are falling further behind on several crucial measures of quality and safety, with neonatal units telling us that they are overstretched, understaffed and being pushed beyond their capacity.”

The 2013/14 NHS Litigation Authority report says that their top three areas of medical negligence includes maternity departments.

Clinical negligence claims in this area are amongst the highest value in terms of financial redress for the claimant and take a long time to be resolved.

The charity’s report said 2,140 more nurses are needed in neonatal units are needed to meet the standards required. The current situation is that 64% of units do not have enough nurses or doctors due to funding cuts.

The Bliss report highlights the current challenges facing neonatal units. There is a risk that this could result in injury to the most vulnerable of babies, with staffing issues often being seen in the context of medical negligence claims.

Anyone suffering an injury from medical negligence generally has three years within which to bring a claim. This time limit runs from or the date of the alleged negligence or the date on which the injured person first suspected, or ought to have suspected, that they had suffered an injury as a result of someone’s mistake.

Parents of children who may have suffered because of a mistake, whether in childbirth or not, should seek legal advice as soon as they are able. However, special rules do apply to time limits for cases involving children and those who do not have the capacity to bring a claim themselves.
If a child was under 18 at the time of the negligence, the three year limit starts on their 18th birthday.

The rules governing time limits in clinical negligence claims are complex. Therefore if in doubt you should seek advice as to whether you are in time to bring a claim.

Do you think that you, or your child, may be a victim of medical negligence? Then contact one of our experts. Pryers are a leading national firm of Medical Negligence Lawyers and have extensive experience of cases involving negligent medical treatment. Our dedicated team of lawyers and experts are well equipped to investigate and advise on all issues of medical treatment.