One in Twelve Cerebral Palsy Cases Avoidable, Research Shows

In an article published by Express, it has been found that one in twelve cerebral palsy cases could have been avoided if the right care were given.

Over the past 10 years, it has been found that damages across 1441 claims have resulted in the NHS Trusts paying out £4 billion in damages. In 2020/21, 268 new cerebral palsy cases were filed making it the highest in over a decade, with the average being 144 cases. In total, around £4.3 billion has been paid out for clinical negligence cases relating to the condition, with an average of £3 million per case.

Head of Clinical Negligence at Lime Solicitors, Robert Rose has stated “One of the main causes of cerebral palsy is hypoxic brain injury during childbirth, which is where a baby’s brain gets starved of oxygen. Sometimes, this cannot be prevented, or it is impossible to work out what caused the child’s injuries.

“However, negligent mistakes by healthcare professionals can lead to a child sustaining a hypoxic brain injury. Errors can include delayed delivery, birth injuries, failing to respond to the umbilical cord being wrapped around a baby’s neck, and missing signs of foetal distress.”

Neil Clayton, a clinical negligence partner at Lime Solicitors has also said “Resources in hospitals are so stretched we believe this is the main reason mistakes are still being made, many of which are also leading to avoidable stillbirths. Having enough midwives and consultants on hand when things go wrong is important. Birth injuries amount to the biggest pay-outs to the NHS so if we want to save on the cost of NHS claims the greatest saving would be birth claims.”

In response, the Department of Health and Social Care has stated “We recently consulted on proposals to tackle disproportionately high legal fees for lower value clinical negligence claims and NHS Resolution is working to resolve claims more quickly, with better value for money.”

You can read the full article here

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