Family win compensation in midwife negligence claim

Blackwater Law successfully represented the family of baby Blake in making a midwife negligence claim after the community midwife failed to notice a severe medical abnormality.

New-born baby in hospitalBaby Blake was born a seemingly healthy child and as such he and his mother were discharged from the hospital on the same day as he was born. This was however despite the fact that baby Blake had not passed meconium (the first faeces passed by a baby).  The family were visited at home by the community midwife the following day and whilst it was noted the Claimant had still not passed meconium no further action was taken.

It was not until some 48 hours after birth that baby Blake was diagnosed with an imperforate anus and admitted for surgery. Needless to say, the condition caused significant pain, discomfort and stress to the baby, not to mention the potential risks to health had the condition gone undiagnosed for any greater length of time.

The family of baby Blake approached Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors for advice and guidance on potentially making a claim for medical negligence compensation. Jason Brady, Head of Blackwater Law, advised the family that it seemed the care provided had fallen below a reasonable standard and that he would represent the family in making a claim on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Jason argued that the care provided by the hospital and the midwife fell below an acceptable standard measured against a body of medical opinion. Upon agreeing to represent the family in making a claim for compensation, Mr Brady obtained expert medical reports from a midwifery care expert, a Consultant Paediatrician and a Neonatologist so as to build a body of specialist evidence in support of the family’s claim for compensation.

The midwifery care expert confirmed that there was a breach of duty of care in not identifying or referring our client to identify the imperforate anus during the home visits. The Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist confirmed that our client suffered significantly as a result of the delayed diagnosis of the condition. According to the reports Blake unnecessarily suffered from bowel obstruction due to the above-mentioned delay in diagnosing the imperforate anus which led to pain, discomfort with distended abdomen and bowels and repeated bilious vomiting until he underwent surgery.

Following receipt of this supporting body of evidence that he had commissioned, Mr Brady submitted a letter of claim to the Defendant NHS Trust (represented by the NHS Litigation Authority) and an early offer was made to settle the claim at £2,500. Jason liaised with a specialist Barrister as to whether this offer was reasonable; due to the fact this particular medical negligence claim involved a minor, making it more difficult to assign a monetary value to it. After discussions between Mr Brady and the barrister, it was decided the offer was a reasonable one and it was therefore accepted.  Again, due to the fact this medical negligence claim involved a minor, the compensation settlement offer and its acceptance had to be approved at a court hearing, which it was. This claim for medical negligence compensation was therefore settled for the sum of £2,500.

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