Mother seeks clinical negligence compensation over child’s cerebral palsy

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A mother has launched a clinical negligence claim against the NHS after doctors allegedly caused her son to develop cerebral palsy.

Rachel Dewis of Up Hatherley is suing the NHS for a substantial lump sum amid claims that hospital staff’s negligent behaviour led to her son Jake being born with the disability.

According to This is Gloucestershire, the writ filed with the court states that if a judge rules in Ms Dewis’ favour, a compensation payout would be worth more than £300,000, but could run into the millions.

“If the claim is successful then the compensation will provide Jake with the financial stability to ensure all his future care and support needs will be met,” Ms Dewis told the news provider.

Jake, who is now 18, was born at Nuneaton Maternity Hospital in 1992 and cannot stand or walk without help. He also suffers from learning difficulties. According to Ms Dewis, midwives failed to recognise his abnormal heart rate and an obstetrician did not order an immediate delivery.

Scope states that one in every 400 children is affected by cerebral palsy, which amounts to 1,800 babies diagnosed with the condition in Britain every year.

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, who heads the clinical negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “At a time when the government is planning to scrap Legal Aid for clinical error, this case illustrates the importance of funding for these claims – even an experienced solicitor as here would struggle to take on these massive cases without some outside funding.

“Parents bring these claims to ensure their child gets a better quality of life and, until an alternative is found, funding should remain in place for those injured as a consequence of medical negligence as otherwise there will be a massive injustice for children like Jake”.


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