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World Cerebral Palsy Day 2020

  • 06.10.2020
  • JessicaMG
  • Clinical-negligence
  • Clinical negligence Brain Injury birth injury cerebral palsy medical mistakes World Cerebral Palsy Day neurological condition Make Your Mark Apgar score

Today (6th October) marks World Cerebral Palsy Day - a day in which people from all over the world come together to help raise awareness of cerebral palsy and the issues that affect the 17 million people across the world who live with the condition. 

For 2020's World Cerebral Palsy Day, the theme is 'Make Your Mark'. Around the globe, people and communities have had to adapt to the changes in our lives brought about by COVID-19. However, people living with cerebral palsy have mastered dealing with change, breaking down barriers, and coming up with creative solutions their whole lives. Today people are invited to share their achievements, solutions they’ve discovered and changes they are advocating for online and through social media. 

Through increasing awareness, we can work towards ensuring that both children and adults with cerebral palsy (or CP) have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition caused by problems which affect the part of the brain that controls muscle tone, motor skills and movement. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this life-long disability, which affects an estimated one in 4,000 people in the UK.

CP generally occurs when the brain develops abnormally before, during or shortly after birth, and it can occur as a result of complications during pregnancy or the birth process, which leads to damage to the brain due to lack of oxygen (hypoxia).

A total of 350 million people are closely connected to a child or adult with CP and, according to worldcpday.org, it is the most common physical disability in childhood.

To determine whether a child may have suffered a brain injury during the birth process, every newborn baby is assessed at birth and given an Apgar score. You can find out more on this topic through our dedicated Apgar score glossary page.

How can medical negligence lead to cerebral palsy?

The most common examples of clinical negligence in the cerebral palsy cases we deal with here at Potter Rees Dolan include:

  • Delays in diagnosing or misdiagnosis of infections in the mother during pregnancy
  • Delays in diagnosing or misdiagnosis of bleeding in the baby’s brain
  • Poor antenatal care including failure to identify fetal growth restriction
  • Poor monitoring of the foetus during labour or misinterpretation of a CTG trace, leading to delay in delivery that deprives the foetus of oxygen
  • Incorrect use of forceps and/or a failure to perform a caesarean section
  • Negligence in the neonatal period relating to monitoring and treatment of neonatal infection, jaundice or hypoglycaemia


If negligent medical care before, during or after birth led to your child developing cerebral palsy, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation.

If mistakes made by midwives or doctors led to your child developing cerebral palsy, whether due to problems in antenatal care, birth injuries or problems in the neonatal period, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Potter Rees Dolan’s team of specialist solicitors are here to help and we will strive to get you the compensation you deserve, because we see first-hand how big a difference it can make to a family’s quality of life.

Gill Edwards is a member of Baby Lifeline’s Multi-Professional Advisory Panel and is a Partner within the Clinical Negligence team here at Potter Rees Dolan. Gill comments:

"In the current climate, the impact of a disability such as cerebral palsy is brought into sharp focus. Resources are stretched and access to many of the therapists and support groups that families rely upon is restricted due to the need to limit risk to patients. It is as important as ever for us to take note of World Cerebral Palsy Day and to offer our support to families dealing with these issues on a daily basis."

Our renowned Clinical Negligence team includes Helen DolanHelen BudgeLesley Herbertson and Gill Edwards, who have more than 60 years of experience between them and all feature in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers guides. The team offers a highly personal service, striving to give their clients a voice when things have gone wrong and maintaining a strong commitment to improving standards in healthcare.

Take a look at some of our case studies below and see how we have helped secure vital funds for numerous families of children with cerebral palsy:

Over £11 million in compensation for baby with cerebral palsy

Medical failings during Anna's birth resulted in severe brain damage and life-changing injuries. After several years undertaking complex investigation to determine the full value of Anna’s claim, a Part 36 offer was accepted in March 2016 for the sum of £11.7 million (gross). Read more here.

£10.6 million agreed for young boy diagnosed with cerebral palsy

Baby boy was delivered an hour after he should have which left him with catastrophic disabilities. Lesley Herbertson put in place specialist reports to identify all of Thomas’ need and has settled Thomas’ claim for an amount equivalent to £10,600,000. This money will enable Thomas to enjoy the best quality of life that he is able and will allow him access to the therapies and care he needs. Read more here.