The Care Quality Commission have downgraded Nottingham Maternity Services to “inadequate” following an unannounced inspection at the Queens Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital. The inspection concluded that some staff “did not always understand how to keep women and babies safe“. Many of the problems arose due to staffing shortages or lack of training. The Hospital Trust have subsequently confirmed that they are recruiting extra midwives.
Our Clinical negligence lawyers were sadly not surprised to read these findings. We deal with many cases involving mothers and babies suffering serious injuries or losing their lives following failings in maternity care in our local hospitals. This is devastating not just for the families but also for the staff involved.
There is a national “Early Notification Scheme” in place which requires hospitals to notify families if there has been a serious incident involving a birth injury. We will be reporting on this scheme in our future news and explain why some children with cerebral palsy and other serious conditions might be entitled to compensation. In the meantime, please urge the Government to properly fund healthcare to safeguard mothers and their babies.
We have represented clients, paralysed by spinal cord injury (SCI), for over 30 years. These claims might involve arguments about liability, for example:
- Was the Accident & Emergency Department negligent by sending away a patient with cauda equina syndrome?
- Was the car driver partly liable for the accident by driving too fast?
- Was the young man attacked in the street at fault for starting the fight, preventing him from recovering criminal injury compensation?
However, what is not in dispute is the severity and impact of SCI, both on the individual and their families. Part of our job is to gather evidence to prove how much it will cost to provide for a client during their lifetime. Sometimes these cases go to Court for a judge to decide how much compensation should be awarded. Evidence is set out in paper reports from many experts as well as statements from the client and their family. They can also give oral evidence at trial but it can never truly paint the full picture of living with SCI. This includes the mental health of clients as they come to terms with their new way of life.
How can you possibly understand such a life changing event which you have not personally experienced? That is why we encourage you to view the very open and honest account of life after SCI in the recent BBC documentary, Being Frank; The Frank Gardner Story.
This programme shows just how much a person’s daily life is affected by paralysis in very frank terms (excuse the pun!). Many will recall that Frank Gardner was the BBC correspondent injured in an attack which killed his cameraman and which he nearly did not survive. It is inspirational but also down to earth.
In the programme, other SCI survivors detail the emotional impact on themselves and their partners. One of the images that stuck with us was Frank Gardner’s attempts to get to the studio in time for a live broadcast. Getting from A to B is a simple task for most of us but turned into such a dramatic moment as we worried “will he make it?”. For anyone using a lift, this programme should make you think twice!
Not all SCI patients have the chance to continue adventures abroad in quite the same way as Frank Gardner, and few would want to be carried into the jungle, but the positive approach to a such a serious injury is a lesson for us all. It also reflects the importance of allowing everyone with SCI to be as independent as possible. We are glad that maximising compensation for our injured clients has enabled them to do this; an example is a former doctor, whose story will be on our website soon and who is equally inspirational.
Julie Hardy, a clinical negligence specialist, was contacted by the family of Marie Henson. Marie was only 53 years old when she died from diabetic complications which were missed in the Newark Urgent Care Centre. Her family spoke of their loss and told local newspapers that their “wonderful mother should still be here”. It is tragic that so many chances to save Marie were missed and the family remain devastated by their loss. Type 1 Diabetes is a common condition and complications are usually easily diagnosed and are treatable but Marie was badly let down by health professionals.
The findings of the Coroner have just concluded, following an inquest looking into Marie’s care by Nottinghamshire Assistant Coroner, Dr Elizabeth Didcock. The family attended throughout the inquest and listened to the catalogue of errors when Marie could have been saved. Neglect was determined to be the cause of Marie’s death in 2019. Julie was able to support the family with the inquest as well as recovering compensation for Marie’s family.
Unusually, the Coroner also made recommendations to identify whether one of the treating doctors, Dr Palissery, was competent to work. He missed obvious signs of Marie’s deterioration, leading to diabetic keratosis and cardiac arrest. We hope that doctors learn from mistakes but the Coroner noted that Dr Palissery had not learned sufficiently from this tragedy.
The lack of involvement with specialists at King Mills Hospital and the need for them to train doctors at Newark Urgent Care Centre were highlighted at the Inquest. This is now under review.
Marie leaves behind her husband Kevin, 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren, who spoke movingly of their loss in the Newark Advertiser. Here is the article printed today
Chambers and Partners has again placed our Personal Injury solicitors in their top ranking. Chambers legal guide looks at law firms all over the world and carries out thousands of interviews to decide which firms are ranked. Year on year, our personal injury work for clients has been recognised by Chambers. This is no accident – David Tomlinson was one of the founding partners of Barratts and the original ethos of niche personal injury litigation run by specialists is key to our success.
One source mentioned that “The firm was always available and replied to queries very quickly.”
Ed Myers was singled out for being “empathetic, fair and made us feel he was really fighting for us.” His work includes CICA claims, acting for victims of criminal assaults including those with brain injury.
David Tomlinson is known to be well placed to assist with significant claims arising from RTAs resulting in brain and orthopaedic injuries. He often advises victims of bus and motorcycle collisions.
More recently, our Personal Injury Team has been enhanced by Lesley Edwards, whom one client described as “a master of your craft not only in the law but also your empathy and understanding“.
Barratts success relies on having senior personal injury lawyers, who can offer decades of experience, to help clients in the most difficult times to recover compensation. We do this without losing sight of the very personal needs of each injured client and keeping caseloads small, which means we can offer the best possible service. We continue to offer a full service throughout the Coronavirus pandemic so please contact us if you need any help.
This was the independent finding of Chambers and Partners, which ranks firms all the over the world to identify the leading lawyers in specialist areas of law. This reduces the risk of placing your claim with an inexperienced solicitor and ensures you can rely on thousands of interviews carried out by Chambers to assess law firms.
One interviewee stated “This is the leading firm for clinical negligence in Nottingham.”. We are thrilled with this recommendation.
We are extremely proud that our clinical negligence department is the only law firm to be ranked top in Nottingham and surrounds. Chambers reports that we are a “Standout niche firm specialising solely in personal injury and clinical negligence matters. Dedicated team of senior practitioners offering advice to clients on diverse and complicated cases, including delayed diagnoses, negligent surgery, birth injuries and fatal claims. Regularly advises on mental health issues.
Particular praise goes to 2 of our senior lawyers:
Julie Hardy who was described as “confident, expertly knowledgeable and very thorough.”
Emma Zukowska was “really impressive at handling the most complex and high-value claims.”
Our work covers all areas of medical negligence and inquests. Head of Department, Alison Brooks, believes our success lies in the niche team of 3 experienced solicitors ; they have the skills to give advice based on a combined knowledge of over 70 years acting in clinical negligence claims.
We continue to be the only firm we know of which has always been ranked in the top tier for our clinical negligence and personal injury work.
We are delighted to share the news that Barratts are again in the Legal 500 top ranking for our personal injury and clinical negligence work. For those who do not know about Legal 500, it carries out research with clients, experts, counsel and other professionals outside our firm to find out who are the best solicitors for personal injury and clinical negligence.
We think we are the only firm to be named in the top tier for injury litigation every year since we began. Barratts would like to thank all our hard working staff who have continued to do their very best for clients during this difficult year. Our teamwork has really helped but we do miss working together in person.
We also would like to thank our amazing clients for speaking so highly about our services. We aim to continue in the top tier year on year by relying on our small, unique team of experienced lawyers to guide clients through their injury claims with empathy, practical advice and the minimum stress.
If you think you may have been injured at work, on the roads or through no fault of your own then please contact our personal injury solicitors for more advice. We also offer expert support for medical claims and can help review your medical records to see if there has been any clinical negligence that is worth investigating. We can help if you need representation at an Inquest. If you are the victim of a criminal attack, our criminal compensation team also help those injured after being assaulted. Our specialist lawyers are happy to talk with you to advise if your claim is worth pursuing.
If you want to know more about our reputation, look no further than the latest recommendation by Legal 500 for our firm.
We often act for clients where a family member has died and they need help at an inquest. It is possible for us to recover the fees where liability is disputed by a potential Defendant. A recent judgement has upheld the right to recover legal costs in this situation. Click to read the report in the Law Gazette.
The amount of the fees were very large in this case and will be decided by the court but the principle remains the same; if a Defendant does not admit any fault for the death, you are entitled to have legal representation at the inquest and be paid most or all of your costs if you succeed with a negligence claim.
What if the Defendant admits liability?
We have acted for clients where this has happened shortly before an inquest. It does mean that if you still need legal support, the court will not usually allow recovery of your costs because we no longer need to be there to assess the merits of a compensation claim. However, for many clients, they want answers and an inquest may be the only chance to question witnesses. This is why clients still ask us to attend inquests even after a personal injury or clinical negligence case settles. It can also be very daunting and distressing for families so it can help for someone independent to liaise with the Defendant’s solicitor, who will often have a team of lawyers and other experts helping them.
If you need advice about an inquest and your rights please get in touch with us. You can call us on (0115) 931 51 71 or send us an email.
We are a modest group of lawyers at Barratts but we had to shout out about our amazing personal injury solicitor, David Tomlinson.
With over 35 years experience helping clients with serious spinal cord and brain injury, this is the highest ever compensation achieved by David in any year. The high awards reflect the needs of David’s clients for significant long term help throughout their lives.
David has settled 35.5 million pounds worth of cases over the last seven months for clients who have suffered spinal cord injury or brain damage in accidents. David, who was previously the Secretary of the Spinal Cord Special Interest Group of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and who has been handling major compensation claims for the last 36 years said:
“Whilst the headline figure of 35.5 million pounds over the course of the last seven months is a huge figure and will enable those clients whose cases have been settled to have financial security for the rest of their lives, what I have been most proud of throughout these claims is the extensive rehabilitation that went alongside the litigation process. All of these clients benefited extensively from therapies, specialist equipment, adaptation of specialist accommodation, the provision of care and specialist case management.”
It’s making this difference for clients’ futures which gives David such job satisfaction. If you would like to talk to David or one of our other lawyers about your situation, please get in touch with us. You can call us on (0115) 931 51 71 or send us an email.
We are proud to be members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, “APIL”, a non profit organisation which gives a voice to injured people. Their focus of Injury Prevention Week on 17-21 August is pedestrian safety. How many of you have crossed a road whilst using your mobile phone?
Did you know that the number of pedestrian deaths have hardly changed in the last 10 years? 72% of drivers say they have witnessed pedestrians distracted on their phones instead of watching the road. APIL are keen to reduce those numbers and their campaign helps to educate and prevent injury and death.
It’s not all about how pedestrians can do better to stay safe. Drivers can do better as well. They need to spend more time checking before pulling out or reversing, especially if they do not have a reverse camera or alarm system to warn of smaller objects and, more importantly, children. Drivers need to remember that the elderly may take longer to cross the road so keep your speed down. We see many clients injured when crossing a side road because a driver has failed to look ahead before turning.
Share what you know with your children; for example, does your child know that cars have white lights when they are reversing? It’s obvious to a driver but not to a 10 year old or someone who does not drive. Anything you can do to prevent injuries can make the difference between another normal day tomorrow and a life shattered. We advise personal injury clients whose injuries could have easily been prevented and no amount of money can properly compensate for a life changing injury or death of a loved one. Please stay safe.
Out of hours appointments are also available