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Making a claim against our PCT

mchildsmchilds Posts: 2Member
edited August 2016 in Parents and carers
Hi there, My son is 7 months old and has just been diagnosed with cp last month. He was originally diagnosed with PVL 3 weeks after birth. He has not recieved a mri scan as yet but will do soon and he has had various cranial scans to see the cysts on his brain and the damage caused. His father and I are thinking of making a claim due to many faults on their part during my time in labour and prior ( my waters broke early, subsequently I developed a infection.) I was wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation and whether I should proceed with these investigations with a solicitor.

Replies

  • renacahillrenacahill Posts: 145Member
    Hello

    Contacting a solicitor is not your first port of call except to get information on where to start. You need first to access your medical records. Look here to get them :
    http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1309.aspx?categoryid=68&subcategoryid=160
    You need someone expert to interpret them for you, if you know a midwife or doctor they may do it for free! You can contact the hospital via PALS (Patient liason) to see what the hospital admits to and to arrange a meeting. If they deny liability and you still feel they are responsible then see a solicitor. There are other avenues such as citizens advice bureau etc which are free for further advice and you may ultimately need a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence. A lot of CP brain injury develops before the baby is born and your notes should clarify when this occurred, also the MRI is invaluable in this.

    Kate x
  • mchildsmchilds Posts: 2Member
    Thanks you for your reply, seems very hard in knowing what to do! It seems like a mine field out there. Have you had any person experience with this subject.

    Many thanks
  • renacahillrenacahill Posts: 145Member
    Hello

    We have not had any personal experience of making a complaint, quite the opposite actually, if the staff hadn't acted very promptly my dear grandson would not be here, and my daughter maybe not also. We have thought of anyway anything could have been missed but the only thing we wish is that DGS could have been artifically cooled. He was born just before the guidelines were changed to rapid cooling following oxygen starvation at birth. We have a friend who is suing though, as she had a twin premature birth that was apparently managed by a junior midwife. We haven't discussed it at length so dont know all the circumstances,but her little boy has fairly mild spastic diplegia and also PVL on his MRI. Her little girl is fine though - it always seems to affect the boys!

    PS My daughter had a silent placental abruption at home (around 3%) Whenever we tell the professionals this the eyebrows shoot up and it's 'Oh my God!'

    Kate X
  • richard1234richard1234 Posts: 1Member
    in my experience it is definitely worth going to see a solicitor. I found a lawyer through the law society website. You need someone who can act under legal aid. There is something called the law society medical negligence panel and also a legal aid franchise for medical negligence and I was told you should only go to law firm that have this qualification. The reason is that they can do legal aid. Under 18s are usually able to get legal aid, regardless of how wealthy their parents are. We are reasonably well off, and I never thought we would be eligible for legal aid, but our solicitor explained that we would get legal aid for our daughter anyway.

    The point is, we were at a loss until we went to the solicitor. But he explained everything, and there was no cost (as everything was under legal aid). The solicitor first told us to make a complaint, and guided us with this, and then he got hold of the medical records and did all the investigations. I felt a great relief after going to the solicitor, it was like someone was now there to do the investigations, and find out what really happened, for me. Anyway, the point is that using a solicitor did not cost anything, so even if there is no legal case and even if all you care about is finding out what happened, seeing the medical records etc, you can do this through the solicitor at no cost. Just make sure you go to someone on the medical negligence panel of the law society who can do legal aid. (and not a solicitor who tries to sign you up for a no win no fee type thing - if they can do legal aid, it means the law society believes they are expert. So I would call the law society, who are very helpful, and they will direct you to someone. The law firm I went to were really great, very kind and friendly, and real experts at this kind of thing. And like I said, they signed me (well, my daughter) up to legal aid right away and I never paid anything (even though I am well off). I don't suppose I should mention their name on this forum so I won't but I found them through the law society, so probably that is the best place to find someone. Hope this is helpful and good luck.
  • renacahillrenacahill Posts: 145Member
    Hi
    What Richard says sounds brilliantly comprehensive, so I would certainly do as he advises. What has confused me is that I read a previous post on Scope where the parents were told by a solicitor to go away and get further information and then return!
    Never having made a claim I have no real experience, but it would seem that if you dont get the right response initially then keep trying. I will refer anyone I see back to this good information as it is the most helpful I have seen so far.
    Cheers
  • nsdsnsds Posts: 2Member
    My advice would be persue the complaints procedure through the hospital. If you wish to then persue this, thats when to consider approaching a solicitor.

    When approaching solicitors, what your asking for initially is for an investigation to take place. They approach medical experts to review your records and give their expert opinion on whether some or all of the injuries could have been avoided. The experts are key, as their independant view will establish if you have a claim or not.

    Sometimes when errors are made, we automatically assume this will be straightforward, but lifes not that simple, as the burden of proof is on the claimant. Medical negligence is more complex and more costly for legal aid, therefore the initial investigation will establish if there is a potential claim.

    I'm speaking from my experience of our case which is ongoing. For more information, you could also have a look at the avma site.
  • AdamsMumAdamsMum Posts: 2Member
    can you tell me what the avma site is? i have just started persuing an investigation on behalf of my son and any information i can get would be very helpful.
  • ScopeHelplineScopeHelpline Posts: 209Member Talkative
    Hi Adams Mum

    You can find details of AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents) on our clinical negligence factsheet:

    http://www.scope.org.uk/help-and-information/cerebral-palsy-and/clinical-negligence

    Best Wishes

    Forum Moderator
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