Legal support for Little Champions
At RWK Goodman, we primarily support families in navigating the legal process of bringing a claim for compensation.
Through the process of instructing independent medical experts, we can determine if you or your Little Champion has received substandard care and if so, pursue a claim for damages.
In April 2021 Kerstin Scheel and Abigail Ringer secured a settlement in excess of £24 million for a nine year old Little Champion who suffered from a shortage of oxygen at the time of his birth at St George’s Hospital. The compensation received will now provide all the care and accommodation that he will need for the rest of his life. It will also provide him with excellent equipment and therapy to ensure that this Little Champion certainly reaches his full potential.
Pursuing a medical negligence claim
From time to time, a child’s brain injury may be a result of substandard medical care.
This might include a delay in delivering a baby resulting in a shortage of oxygen to the brain, failing to recognise and treat jaundice, or not treating an infection quickly enough, to name a few examples.
At RWK Goodman we specialise in representing children affected by brain injury such as cerebral palsy, cognitive difficulties, epilepsy and developmental delay. We work with leading experts who advise on the standard of medical care received, as well as on the way a child’s quality of life can be maximised through the provision of suitable accommodation, therapies, equipment, assistive technology, treatment and care.
We are usually able to offer children Legal Aid Funding which will ensure your child keeps 100% of their compensation.
Here are some of the Little Champions we have helped recently:
In February 2020, RWK Goodman recovered nearly £6 million for a little boy, A, who is affected by cerebral palsy and erb’s palsy. In addition he will receive yearly payments of up to £260,000.
A’s birth was complicated by shoulder dystocia which is when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during delivery. A’s mother’s older child also experienced shoulder dystocia at birth and therefore she should have been offered a caesarean section with A. Sadly she was not and as a result, A suffered brain damage as a result of a shortage of oxygen and injury to the nerves of his shoulder.
The compensation received will now provide for all the care and accommodation costs that A will need for the rest of his life. It will also provide him with top of the range equipment and optimal therapy to ensure that he can experience the best possible quality of life: Something that we all want for our Little Champions.
In April 2020, RWK Goodman recovered compensation for a little girl, K, with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. K received £4 million plus payments of up to £280,000 per year.
K suffered from brain damage at the time of her birth as a result of infection and a lack of oxygen. Her mother used to worry about her future and ask the questions we all ask ourselves: who will look after my child when I am unable to? K’s family now live with the assurance that she has the financial support to receive the best possible care for the rest of her life.
The Early Notification Scheme
An alternative to pursuing a medical negligence claim is to take part in the Early Notification Scheme.
Since 1 April 2017, NHS Hospitals have had to report to NHS Resolution all incidents where babies (who were born at term and following a labour) had a potential severe brain injury diagnosed within the first week of life.
NHS Resolution then carries out an investigation as to what may have gone wrong. The investigation is carried out by legal case managers and clinical advisors who will decide whether you and your child have received substandard care. If they decide that your child has suffered an injury as a result of care that does not meet the expected standard, then they can provide you with a written apology and offer financial support for your child.
The Early Notification Scheme has the benefit of allowing families to reach some sort of resolution more quickly than when pursuing a medical negligence claim. However, it is worth considering that parents cannot participate directly in the investigation; there is currently a lack of transparency in how the investigation is undertaken and the independence of the clinical advisors who decide on the standard of care received is in question.
The Early Notification Scheme is still at a relatively early stage and it is unknown how much financial support children are recovering through this scheme. It is currently likely, however, that your child will receive a higher level of financial support if you pursue a clinical negligence claim.
The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch
In addition to the early Notification Scheme there is a second scheme in place run by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). The programme started in 2018 and investigates stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and cooled babies, or those diagnosed with brain injuries.
The focus of the investigation is to look at what can be learned from what has happened, in particular, the investigations:
identify the factors that may have contributed towards death or harm
use evidence-based accounts to establish what happened and why
make safety recommendations to improve maternity care both locally and nationally.
Guidance for Little Champions
Please find out more about any of the following areas in our guide: