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NHSLA Maternity Claims

If a woman or her baby is negligently injured during childbirth, there may be grounds for a medical compensation claim.

NHSLA report

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) manages claims that are made against the NHS. It produces an annual report detailing the number of clinical negligence claims that year according to medical speciality.

The 2015/16 report shows that 10% of all claims made during that 12 month period related to obstetrics, making it the third most litigious area of medicine. Gynaecology was the fifth most common area, making up 6% of clinical negligence claims.

In terms of value, however, obstetrics was clearly the most expensive. The total value of claims received during 2015/16 was £2,896,367,802, and 42% of this figure could be attributed to obstetric claims. Gynaecology was just 3% of the figure.

Why are obstetric claims so expensive?

The fact that obstetrics claims are the most 'valuable' is a trend that continues year after year. That is because obstetric claims often relate to a baby who has suffered some form of catastrophic injury during birth, such as cerebral palsy.

Such claims are expensive to investigate because they can run for several years. Furthermore, a successful case will conclude with a significant amount of compensation being awarded to the patient or their family.

This compensation is crucial because the patient often has significant care needs that will be required for the rest of their lives. Financial provision will be awarded to ensure the family can meet these demands, which sometimes involves round-the-clock care and supervision.

Injuries to the mother

Claims can also arise due to birth injuries sustained by the mother. This might include:

  • A severe tear or fistula caused by medical errors
  • A missed perineal tear
  • Internal organ damage during a C-section
  • Substandard repair of a 3rd or 4th degree tear
  • Untreated infection
  • The use of blunt scissors during an episiotomy

These medical mistakes can have terrible long-term consequences that impact upon the mother's physical, emotional and financial well-being. Issues such as faecal incontinence, urinary incontinence and lasting pain can all occur due to obstetrics/gynaecology negligence, for which there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

Speak to a solicitor

If you would like to know more about making a medical negligence claim for substandard care you received during or after childbirth, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors. We offer free legal advice regarding potential medical negligence claims.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

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