This week, NHS Resolution (‘NHSR’) published an important report that provides a unique and in-depth examination of the causes of incidents that have led to cerebral palsy and the investigations that have followed them.
Based on a review of cases between 2012 and 2016, recommendations include national standardised training for all involved in SI investigation with family involvement being placed at the centre. In line with 'Each Baby Counts' there should be more extensive use of external or independent peer review, with greater support being available to staff. Locally led, multi-professional training, which includes simulation training for breech birth is also identified as a priority. This training should focus on integrating clinical skills with enhancing leadership, teamwork, awareness of human factors and communication.
The full report can be read here: http://resolution.nhs.uk/five-years-of-cerebral-palsy-claims/
The report acknowledges the devastating effect that negligent care has on the child, their family and carers - as well as the lasting psychological impact on staff and organisational costs to the NHS when something goes wrong. Importantly, whilst in the most intractable cases court proceedings may be necessary, the report demonstrates the clear objective of NHSR - supported by the Early Notification Scheme, to ensure the process of claiming compensation need not be adversarial. In managing the costs of clinical negligence, NHSR is stressing that ‘resolution’ is possible in many cases without the need for formal and costly litigation
Obstetric claims accounted for 10 percent of the 10,686 claims received under NHSR’s indemnity schemes in 2016/17 but 50 percent of the value due to the devastating nature of the injury and the often life-long care needs of the child.
If you would like to talk to Bevan Brittan about any of these issues or training requirements, please contact: Joanna Lloyd, Partner.