It’s about time the government helped the NHS, not the insurance industry
If passed, the government’s proposals to extend the Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) fast track to cover most civil cases up to £100,000 will enable insurance companies to save millions of pounds. In response, law firms will undoubtedly need to re-evaluate their caseloads and consider the most cost-effective ways to approach a claim, with the victim potentially losing out significantly. Alongside these developments looms the inevitability of the trillion-pound insurance industry receiving another healthy boost. Surely, then, it would be reasonable for the industry to contribute some of their savings to an area of society upon which they could have a hugely positive impact?
NG was discovered to be in a breech presentation in utero and her mother underwent a successful external cephalic version to turn her, at 37 weeks gestation. NG was born on 13 September 2007 and her hips were stated to be normal at a newborn examination. She did not undergo any follow up tests at the hospital, such as an ultrasound scan of her hips, despite being in the high risk group for developmental dysplasia of the hips due to her breech presentation. There was an 8-month check up with the health visitor and nothing was picked up, although she had a more prominent crease on her right hip.
NG’s parents later reported to her GP that she was waddling when she walked and an ultrasound scan was requested. This led to a diagnosis of bilateral developmental dysplasia of the hip, at 26 months of age.
Expert evidence confirmed that NG ought to have undergone an ultrasound scan of her hips in the first few weeks after her birth and that this would have shown hip instability and/or dislocation. It is likely that non-surgical treatment would have been successful and NG would have developed normal hips without any long-term concern. If NG’s condition had been picked up after her 8-month check, treatment at that stage would have led to normal development of her hips without any long-term concern.
Following her diagnosis NG underwent bilateral open reduction and femoral osteotomies. She required a further femoral osteotomy in her right hip in January 2013 and had two further operations to remove metalwork.
An expert in orthopaedic surgery advised that NG would require a repeat osteotomy by the age of 14 and that she would develop osteoarthritis at a younger age than usual, requiring hip replacements and hip revisions sooner than she would have needed, if she had had normal hip development. It was also considered that she should avoid a career relying on long periods of standing or walking, climbing or high impact activity involving her lower limbs.
Liability was admitted in the Letter of Response in relation to failure to carry out a 6-week ultrasound scan, and an offer was made by the Defendant Trust to settle the claim, in June 2015. This was rejected and NG’s claim was quantified. A round table meeting took place in June 2018 and the case settled for a figure in excess of £300,000. In the approval hearing, in December 2018, anonymity was granted.
Dr Mala Sidebottom, who was instructed in the case said, ‘I am delighted that NG has settled her case for a sum that should enable her to access any care and treatment that she needs and to fully move on with her life.’
We regularly represent clients in medical negligence claims where injuries have occurred which could potentially have been avoided by better or alternative medical treatment and care.
If you or your child has sustained an injury during pregnancy or childbirth we are here to help. Drawing upon years of unrivalled experience our specialist medical negligence solicitors can ensure that a thorough investigation is undertaken into the circumstances of your case with a view to taking forward a compensation claim, making sure that you receive the closure and financial support you are entitled to and need.
We have established relationships with renowned medical experts in all relevant areas of medical practice such as obstetrics, midwifery, neonatology, paediatric neurology and neuroradiology. We always ensure the medical evidence used in your case is of the highest standard and that the experts we engage have the expertise and knowledge to support your claim effectively.
We recognise the very real difficulties that exist in caring for an injured child. Not least difficulties accessing ongoing medical treatment, care and support, education, therapy and equipment.
In cases where liability is resolved, we will always seek interim payments at an early stage to ensure access to such treatment, support and assistance. Our education specialists and community care team are also here to advise and provide assistance in securing all requisite NHS and Local Authority care and support during the continuance of your claim.
We are also able to offer our clients in an appropriate case a specialist ‘immediate needs assessment’ service.
If you believe that you or someone you know has suffered as a result of medical negligence please contact Tim Spring. We deal with clients throughout the country and we will visit you at your home, hospital or rehabilitation unit.
sarmad.gassoud | 04.02.2019