Should We Sue The Nhs? — Scope | Disability forum
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Should We Sue The Nhs?

morganjoy Member Posts: 1
Has anyone sued the NHS for the brain damage inflicted on their child? Is there a way of having the situation independently analyzed before hiring lawyers?

My daughter has severe brain damage (HIE) due to asphyxia. She is still a baby but we worry that later she may need money as she may not ever work or live independently. We also want the peace of mind of knowing what happened, especially before we have another baby.

Some brief details of the birth:
1. My waters broke and 65 hours later I gave birth (assisted, suction then forceps).
2. I had an infection in my waters and was treated with penicillin 41 hours after they broke.
3. According to them, there was no sign of distress on the hospital readouts. Of which the hospital gave us copies of, and all our notes, without us asking for them. Also, no sign that my pregnancy was anything but normal.
4. I was told to push for 2 hours before a doctor came in and corrected the midwife that I was actually 9 cm dilated not 10.


  • mumto1
    mumto1 Member Posts: 4
    Grr, I just typed a reply and it wouldn't post - and now it's vanished...

    We reached a settlement with hthe NHS earlier this year after they admitted full liability for all our child's brain injuries.

    I would recommend going to the CAB for a list of solicitors with expertise in medical negligence and making an appt to discuss with them first of all. I don't think it would be possible to have independent analysis without this unless you had unlimited finance. Where there is a case to explore I believe a child would be entitled to legal aid who would fund the many assessments and in our case the cost was eventually met by the NHS.

    I hope that helps a little?
  • Guest
    Guest Member Posts: 1,968

    Have you read the Scope factsheet on clinical negligence:

    Forum Moderator
  • Kayla81
    Kayla81 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I'm new here but couldn't read and run. We are currently taking legal action against our local hospital as our son has Periventricular Leukomalacia and Spastic Quadrepleigic CP, he has no head control, needs 24 care, cannot communicate, and needs help with all aspects of daily living. He is almost 3 and we only got a diagnosis after going to Great Ormond Street Hospital in June. We were given legal aid for him and are hoping that negligence can be proven so he can get compensation to help him in later life. Here is a brief outline of what happened to him:

    I'd already had one prem baby and was identified as high risk, my waters broke at 32 weeks but no sign of labour. Hospital decided that they wanted to postpone labour, even though I'd already had Steriods at 28 weeks, given labour stopping drugs and put on ward. Next day I was moved into a day room off the ward as my bed was needed for someone else!!! Was told to monitor own temp as midwives were too busy. Staff ignored my temp of 38 degrees and uterine tightenings (signs of infection). 101 hours after waters broke I went into labour. Son was taken to SCBU, disharged after 16 days.

    At 7 weeks old (around due date) son got ill with cough and cold and wouldn't feed. Took him to GP who rushed him into hospital re: dehydration and bronchiolitis. Went to hospital and put into a side room on Childrens Ward. Was left for 5 hours before he was treated!! he was discharged a week later and when he came home he had changed from a normal baby to a severely diasbled child.
  • joannehannam86
    joannehannam86 Member Posts: 5
    Hi, I know i'm a year late on replaying to this one, Just came across it whilst scanning through the forum.

    We currently have a claim going through for my son who has right hempilegia spastic cerebral palsy.

    The NHS annoy me so much, i think a mother always knows when there is a problem. As yours, my waters went early, around 50 hours before i was eventually induced. I was sent home and told there was no problem, i was'nt even checked apart from a few prods to my stomach and the answer "you stomach feels like there is enough water around the baby" . i was sent home. being my first pregnancy i just assumed that if there was anything wrong they would have kept me in. its only with my next two pregnancies i now realise i was treated quite badly first time around.

    after i was sent home i continued to get pains into the saturday and sunday, i went back to the hospital on the sunday and was told that my waters had been gone for some time and that i should have gone in to get them checked - obviously i was livid as i had been in on the friday and told that everything was fine. i was booked in to be induced straight away, baby was getting slightly distresse by this point, the docs decided against c-section and gave me epidural to help me deliver naturally as i was in such a state.

    i had trouble delivering my son, forceps were used and then realised he had shoulder dystoxia, when jack was finally born he did not cry or move, he was taken to the other side of the room and after what felt like a life time brought back to me and was fine, still no crying (well until the vitamin k injection).

    during the first few months i thought jacks development was quite slow, he didnt eat right, he chpked alot, he suffered with convulsions regulary. he was very delayed in sitting up crawling walking and talking, luckily he is able to all those now but with a hell of a lot of effort. i went to the doctors on several occassions and was given anti depressants and told i was over reacting because i was depressed. i continued to push the matter and finally when jack was over 2 years old after being told all along he only had flat feet jack was diagnosed with CP, i had already asked about CP when jack was about 6 months old and told no chance.

    i completely understand your frustration with the NHS and the service given. I think all parents with child with CP shoud look further into it see if they are able to pinpoint when it could have occurred. i think more than anything its peace of mind knowing what happened!

    we applied for legal aid for our claim and the application was successful, the claim is still i the very early stages and could take years but i dont mind that and really am not bothered about the money side of things so much. i would just like to know if the hospital played any part in my sons disability. my son is what he is and such an amazing little boy. if possible though i think we deserve answers and if the NHS are responsible i just want an apology and for it to be looked into i wouldnt want the same to happen to others. I know 2 more people personally who have had a similar expericence at the same hospital and their children both suffer with similar disabilities too

  • johnsonhill
    johnsonhill Member Posts: 1
    hi there new to this site but I do donate every month....I read wat you are sayin and you really need to act on it please take it from my is my e mail mail me then i will give you my number and tell you the very best way to go about it (email contact detail removed due to forum rules) look forward to hereing from you ....

    sally .....
  • cat67
    cat67 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi, I sued the NHS and won my case. Before we appointed a lawyer, we requested a brain scan on my son, to find out what part of his brain had been damaged. He was starved of oxygen at birth, failed ventouse, forceps, then emergency cs. Spent 5 days in SCBU and now has cerebral palsy. The brian scan came back with typical damage for a baby that was staved of oxygen.

    We then decided to seek a lawyer. There is no legal fees until the child is 16. So we got legal aid. We had nothing to lose, and we needed to know what had happened at birth, and I needed to stop my guilty feelings, thinking it was something I had done wrong.

    It took about 7 years and it was long and painful, but we won the case. We were told, if they had acted sooner, he would have been ok.

    2 years down the line, we have purchased an open plan bungalow which we have had adapted. We can pay a carer to come and help out several times a week. There is funds held in court for him, for when were not around. And, we have an explanattion as to what went wrong that day,

    All I can say is, if you dont look into this, you will never know. And that will niggle you forever. Good luck.

  • fortune
    fortune Member Posts: 3
    HI CAT65 can u give me the name of your solicitor pls.
    My daughter also have CP she had aa brain damage at birth due to lack of oxygen i went for emergency cs child was ventilated for 4days and she stayed in SCUB for 2weeks. Now she is 3yrs old and depends on me for everything, I want to sue the NHS pls i need guidelines on how to go about it. Thanks
  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 207 Courageous
    Hello Fortune

    Have you seen the Scope information about clinical negligence? You can find it at

    If you are looking for a specialist solicitor the Law Society will be able to assist you,

    Kind regards

    Forums Moderator
  • 143ggs
    143ggs Member Posts: 3 Listener
    YES, YES, YES, you should but make sure you have a neglience solicitor in place before your babe reaches the age of 3, not sure if i can recommend one on here but my one was brilliant, took 12 years to settle out of court and now i know in my heart if anything happens to me or my husband my lad has the money there to be care for in his own home for the rest of his life.
    Sorry new to this but had to reply, my boy was 15 wks pre, midwife said i had flu and go home and rest, i actually had pre-eclampsa, but according to my SENIOR midwife i was just being a typical mum (1st baby)with a common cold,

    Yes, sue them, its hard work but the piece of mind you get from it is worth it
  • kingyclan
    kingyclan Member Posts: 17
    AvMa is a great place to start and will advise.
  • LRawley
    LRawley Member Posts: 2
    As a child who I firmly believe has CP due to medical negligence, (my mother was in labour for over 100 hours after her waters broke, she was put on a drip that was stopped twice when the labour ward became too busy, and wasn't given any anti-biotics until 24 hours after I was born) I would initially say yes. I didn't get a diagnosis of CP until my 30s - the diagnosis was kept from my parents and then disgarded when it was shown in primary school that I was above average intelligence. My god-father always told my mum that she should sue, but she was adamant that I was already going through enough with all the corrective surgeries I went through as a child; she didn't want me poked and prodded any more than necessary. In my case, by the time I got my official diagnosis it was too late for me to try to claim on my own behalf. I know because I enquired. But, to be honest now I've had time to reflect and digest everything I'm really glad that I couldn't. I have had a good life, ok, I have had to endure a few different surgeries, but in all honesty it's cost the NHS a lot of money to try to make my 'disabilities' better. I have proven doctors wrong, they initially told my parents that I wouldn't live any longer than 24/48 hours when I was three days old. I went through mainstream schools, suffered some bullying due to being different but managed to make some good friends, met a fabulous man, got married, have got two beautiful children and went back to uni 3 years ago graduating with a first class honours degree. I suppose what I'm saying is that doctors aren't God, they make mistakes like any of us, but when they do we are lucky enough to have a National Health Service that helps try to make lives better for those who haven't been as lucky as others. If you or a child has suffered brain damage which leaves them totally dependent on others which would be at a huge cost to their families then yes, you quite rightly need all the help you can get and the first place you should look is the place that caused the problem, but if like me, you can do most things that your peers can do, albeit in a different way, then why should we sue an often undervalued institution that is almost on it's knees already? If we had sued them over my birth it wouldn't have changed a thing, other than I would have had more money in the bank!!

    I appreciate that my view won't be the view of many, and I hope I don't offend anyone, because that certainly isn't my intention. I suppose it's difficult to gauge, because you have to make a claim so early in a child's life, no-one knows what the outcome for the child is going to be and how much they can prove the medics wrong.

    You have to go with your gut and do what you feel is best for your child.
  • makemlass
    makemlass Member Posts: 3
    Hia I was wondering if someone will be ablow to advise me how long we will wait to recieve a payout they accepted liability in January this year and my son is off to London to have a report done by a brain doctor in October he's 8 now and been going
    on for 8 years 3 month thanks 
  • Geo08
    Geo08 Member Posts: 49 Courageous
    Have you signed a settlement agreement? If so that should be made absolute by an order of the court which should order payment to be made by a specific date. 

    For example it might say payment of x pounds within 14 days of the date of this judgement.
  • makemlass
    makemlass Member Posts: 3
    Hia no I haven't they accepted liability in January this year my solictor has had my son seen by experts and he is going to see a brain doctor in London in October for the other side to do a report its took them 8 years to final admit I'm just wondering what happens next my solictor really doesn't say much they haven't valued he's claim yet thanks 
  • makemlass
    makemlass Member Posts: 3
    Ruffle how long will it take now and what will the next steps be I'm fed up of it all now and what it to be over with 
  • jamestaylor1979
    jamestaylor1979 Member Posts: 1
    We are approaching the last 6 months of what has to date been almost an 8 year battle.

    We have been suing the Basildon and Thurrock Trust of the NHS almost since my eldest daughters birth where she was starved of oxygen resulting in her quadriplegia. It has been a long drawn out and painful process and one way or another we are approaching the end.

    Our legal representatives are hugely positive and optimistic about our potential outcome but the uncertainty we have lived with for so long has almost broken us as a family.............thankfully we are made of stern stuff.

    In contrast to what seems like the norm nowadays the judge in our case has not instructed a split trial but both liability and quantum at the same time which has made the process even longer. Our court date is for the 27th March next year, however the Defendant has just proposed an RTM (Round Table Meeting) which is an attempt at mediation, hopefully this is their defence starting to crack and they are willing to look at settling this out of court.

    Good luck to anyone in the same boat as it is not nice and to live in the limbo we have had to for so long is torturous.
  • cardova89
    cardova89 Member Posts: 4 Listener

    Hi thanks for your post? Did you get your payout how long did the whole thing take
    we are nearly 2 years in expecting the first reply from the nhs trust in jan ,just feelslike it s going to take forever before we know answers 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
    edited December 2017
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • cardova89
    cardova89 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you 
    But I was more asking advice from someone who has been through this terrible journey, We went into hospital for a healthy birth mistakes were made and we left with a severely brain damaged baby who is now 5 and has got 4 limb cerebral palsy and cannot do anything for himself , to give our child the best chance at life to give basic necessitates that others take for granted we need a pay out (sorry to be so blunt)
    we live in a rented first floor flat with no lift he has to be carried everywhere
    we cant get him the right equipment due to lack of space or funds
    he needs much more therapy than he is currently able to get

    this is all now, what about the future I cant even imagine >>>>>>>>>>>>
  • esthermb1996
    esthermb1996 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    @cardova89.  Hi! I can’t exactly give you any answers but I am currently in the process of suing the NHS. My daughter was born via emergency c section in January this year at UCLH. There was something wrong with the CTG and I wasn’t in labour, so the staff just watched my daughter starving of oxygen on the monitor for an hour and a half before she was born. By the time the delivered her she was pale and had no heart rate. They did not tell me there was a problem until the point of rushing me into theatre. Because they immediately knew they made a mistake, they cooled her straight away and did an MRI scan within a week of birth. They told me it was likely Zariah will have cerebral palsy whilst she was still in intensive care so we had a moment of time to prepare. They didn’t tell me they made a mistake until we were discharged 6 weeks later I spent all that time blaming myself trying to understand what I had done wrong. They immediately referred her to all the specialist disability services before we left the hospital, even though she didn’t have an official diagnosis until 6 months. I assume this is because they knew this would be the outcome. Because of this we started the ball rolling with solicitors quite early. We live in a one bedroom 3rd floor flat in London which I was really happy to stay in because my daughter is a baby, but she already has so much equipment and she’s less than a year old. She’s already requiring so many specialist things which at times is hard to swallow. I want my daughter to be provided for when I’m not there, and for her to receive the best care so she can live her fullest life. I don’t want her to be isolated or restricted in anyway. If it wasn’t for a medical professionals error my daughter would be crawling and sitting and talking and eating for herself and holding things maybe even walking. We were given legal aid within a few months and already have one experts opinion back. If you can do anything to improve your child’s quality of life I would definitely support it. It’s a long battle and won’t happen overnight but could give you clear answers and also secure a comfortable future for your child. You may also get a genuine apology, which I know doesn’t make up for anything but someone just admitting they’ve made a mistake can also help you move forward. UCH sent a serious incident report and a letter apologising for my baby’s “condition at birth” and said it “could have been handled better” and they want to learn from mistakes, but didn’t genuinely apologise, now that solicitors are involved they’re very careful about what they say in meetings. But anyways I’m rambling, do whatever you feel is best for your little one & good luck! x


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