NHS Resolution has reported on the first year of its scheme to drive improvements in maternity and neonatal services.
The Early Notification scheme progress report, published a year ago, was to ensure that families whose babies suffer avoidable brain injuries at birth are better supported. The key ambition of the report was to shorten the time taken to report an incident.
The average length of time between an incident occurring and an award for compensation being made was 11.5 years. Claims were often not notified to NHS Resolution until four to five years after the incident and compensation paid when the full extent of injuries were known.
Since the report was brought in, early admissions of liability have been given to 24 families within 18 months of the birth.
Mark Tempest, Director of Medical Negligence Serious Injury, at Fletchers Solicitors, said:
We welcome the findings of this report as a very positive step on behalf of NHS Resolution. We have long sought an initiative like this. As lawyers representing the injured parties, we have in the past found it difficult to get the meaningful discussions started with NHS in the early stages of these complex cases. We fully support the initiative described in this report and would like to see it extended as far as possible.
“Lawyers representing claimants can also do better by making sure that we notify the NHS at an early stage of birth injury claims, even if we are unsure if it’s going to be a positive claim.