Personal Injury, Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence

Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence Newsletter – November 2015

We are pleased to present the November 2015 edition of our Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence Newsletter from the Clarke Willmott claims team.

Our aim is to provide you with a brief overview of key developments and issues in the field of serious injury and clinical negligence.

If there are any issues you wish to discuss further, please contact a member of our team by calling free on 0800 316 8892.

Clarke Willmott’s Serious Injury and Clinical Negligence teams praised in independent guide

Chambers & Partners recognises expertise of lawyers

The 2016 Chambers & Partners UK Guide has just been published. This independent guide to law firms covers 70 specialist areas of law, and has heaped praise on the expert lawyers in the Serious Injury and Clinical Negligence teams at Clarke Willmott in Bristol, Taunton and Birmingham. Based on rigorous research, including interviews with thousands of clients, the guide is seen as authoritative in demonstrating which lawyers are experts and leaders in their field.

Both the Serious Injury and Clinical Negligence teams are celebrating today after receiving noteworthy recognition in the guide, which reflects the breadth of experience and expertise they have in representing seriously injured clients and the victims of medical negligence.


Royal visit commemorates Headway Devon move to historic building

Taunton Clinical negligence Partner Chris Thorne was honoured to be included in welcoming party when Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex visited the charity’s new headquarters in Exeter. Chris, acting in his role as a Trustee of the Charity, also made a short speech thanking Her Royal Highness at the conclusion of the event.

During the visit, The Countess of Wessex toured the XCentre – which is the headquarters of Headway Devon as well as the charity’s Exeter-based day centre for people with brain injuries – speaking to people affected by brain injuries and supporters of the charity.


Concerns expressed over safety of mothers giving birth

A recent survey of Heads of Midwifery (HoMs) across hospitals has raised concern about patient safety across midwifery units against the current backdrop of austerity cuts and reduced budgets and shortages in midwifery care.

The survey, which analysed performance of 83 HoMs over the last 12 months, found understaffed and underfunded units struggling to deliver quality services and facing increasing demand. Across England and Wales there is currently a shortage of 2,600 full-time midwives.


RD&E still failing with cancer referrals

The Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (“RD&E”) is now in its twentieth consecutive month of failing to meet the 62-day cancer diagnosis target set by the government. With early diagnosis often cited as the key to survival, the Clinical Commissioning Group (“CCG”) has called for a clinical harm review to be carried out on patients whose diagnosis has now fallen outside the 62 day window.


Report highlights Understaffing in Neonatal Units

The annual report of BLISS, a charity campaigning for improved neonatal services throughout the UK, has highlighted shocking levels of understaffing in Neonatal units, placing vulnerable newborn babies at risk of harm.

The report sets out a number of statistics for these units which demonstrate not only a lack of specialist nurses but generally poor staffing levels which are insufficient to meet even basic standards of safe care:

  • 70% of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are consistently caring for many more babies than is considered safe
  • 64% of neonatal units do not have enough nurses to meet national standards on safe staffing levels
  • 2/3 of units do not have enough specialist nurses

In addition to the problems in providing basic levels of care, resources for support of families are affected with 30% of units providing no psychological support to parents at all and at 41% there is no access to a trained mental health worker.