A number of parties, including the Medical Defence Union (MDU), have shown some support for a recent paper from the Department of Health.
The report, a 'Rapid resolution and redress scheme for severe avoidable birth injuries', looks into alternative ways to support babies born with brain damage as a result of birth injuries.
Although the proposal outlines ideas such as creating a case manager for patients to help provide them with the care their child needs, there has also been some criticism of the plans.
For example, some babies with severe brain damage could be unfairly excluded such as cases involving twins which are not included.
Lesley Herbertson, senior clinical negligence solicitor at PotterReesDolan, said:
A number of interested parties have submitted their responses to this consultation paper, many coming at the proposed scheme from a different point of view. Based on the comments that I have seen so far, the most common (and quite right) response is that the scheme has not been sufficiently thought through and lacks detail.
In principle, the idea of trying to offer early support for babies injured at birth and their families is of course welcome. However, whether a fair and workable scheme can be achieved in practice is another matter.
Director of the MDU has said they believe all babies who have sustained a brain injury due to negligence during birth should be entitled to no-fault compensation with no exclusions.
The general opinion suggests the paper from the Department of Health needs more thought to develop a scheme that is actually practical and affordable.
Lesley Herbertson specialises in serious clinical negligence claims with Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about the issues raised in this article and wish to speak with Lesley or any other member of the team please contact us on 0161 237 5888.