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
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 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.
Latest reports from the NHS indicate £89 billion is due to be paid for claims. What are the facts? Read more
It has been a record breaking year for us here at Barratts. Our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence lawyers have recovered compensation of nearly £86,000,000 on behalf of our clients. We feel this is a remarkable achievement for a firm which has only 6 litigation solicitors. Read more
Chambers is a highly reputable independent legal guide which ranks firms all over the world. In Nottinghamshire we are proud to be named as one of only 2 firms recognised for Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence claims. Barratts only has senior expert lawyers to handle this extremely complex area of law which means clients have a dedicated, specialist lawyer to advise throughout their compensation claim . This is vital for clients facing one of the most traumatic times of their lives coping with brain injury, spinal injury, cerebral palsy and fatalities.
Our partners have again all been individually recognised for their expertise which is an amazing achievement. Here is what Chambers reported:
Personal Injury Department
Sources praise department head Ed Myers for delivering an “excellent service.” He is an experienced practitioner in brain and spinal injury claims, as well as representing clients in CICA cases.
David Tomlinson is recognised as “a go-to person for top-value claims.” He is noted for acting in highly complex claims involving catastrophic injuries resulting from RTAs.
Clinical Negligence Department
Alison Brooks has experience in medical negligence inquests and cerebral palsy cases. Sources are impressed by her “good technical knowledge and experience, clear instructions and focused follow-up.”
Julie Hardy is “outstandingly personable, an extremely good communicator, very tenacious and a delightful person all round,” according to interviewees. Hardy demonstrates expertise in fatal incidents relating to mental health and negligent care cases, as well as high-value birth injury and surgical negligence matters. She is valued by clients for being “passionate about reaching the right outcome,” with one source adding: “She made it very easy to get through the case and had my best interests at heart at all times.”
The “immensely supportive, calm, organised and informative” Emma Zukowska demonstrates expertise in complex birth injury and surgical error cases. Interviewees also note: “She has very good medical and legal knowledge, as well as good judgement.”
Thanks go to all our hardworking staff who make it possible for us to support our clients coping with traumatic injuries. We also recognise the extraordinary clients we have met over many decades who not only cope with adversity but manage to overcome appalling circumstances. Compensation does help to rebuild lives by putting therapy, care and treatment in place. We are a small piece of that puzzle but making a real difference is what keeps our lawyers fighting for injured clients.
Legal 500 is an independent guide of law firms all over the world and recognsied as a benchmark for quality. Each year law firms are judged on their work by asking what their clients and other professionals think of them. Barratts Solicitors has consistently been ranked top for claimant personal injury and clinical negligence work. We know how important the views of our clients are which is why we never take our top ranking for granted. We can only stay at number one with an expert team of lawyers and dedicated staff to provide top quality advice every year.
Barratts always wanted to stand out from the crowd, putting client needs 1st and offering a very personal service from a small niche firm. We are delighted that our client approach continues to be recognised by Legal 500 whose staff spend many hours ensuring only the best lawyers are named in their top tier. Many firms apply to be ranked but few are named and even less come top every year. Making a real difference to the lives of our injured clients is paramount. It is a privilege to help seriously injured clients maximise their quality of life and reach their potential, working with families during litigation and after compensation has been awarded.
Out of hours appointments are also available