nightmare birth-any advice on legal action(13 Posts)
hi ladies, i posted this under legal thread. i have had some great advice, but more welcome. many thx.. "please click here http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk?topicid=2230&threadid=342251 "
the above link will have some useful advice re birth trauma, will have a look at your thread now
Having read most of your other thread I would just like to say that yes your treatment sounds appaling and I hope you do get over it, but it will take time and it is not something you can choose to speed up iyswim. I think that if you do persue any legal follow up and then have another baby in this hospital you would probably get extremely good treatment as some of the mw's would feel like they wanted to be careful not to get in to trouble, but most of them would feel compassionate and sad that you had such an awful time of it first time around. Of course this only goes for those who know about it which may not be many of them, I'm not sure exactly how it works. I'm glad that you feel that you will have another baby at some point and I hope that it goes much better for you. (tbh it does not sound like it could be any worse.)
You will firstly need to make a complaint to the Trust in writing. You need to show I think that you have pursued this informally first. If you need help in writing your complaint, you can contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS). ICAS can help put the complaint letter together and will also attend meetings with you if necessary. In London the Citizens Advice Centre provides this service tel: 0845 120 3784. If you live outside London, I can try to find out who to contact.
This will assist later if there is legal action as you will then have the necessary paperwork from the hospital eg: investigation, documentation from medical records etc that can be passed to a solicitor. In addition the hospital should have recorded this as an incident or possibly a (Serious Untoward Incident or SUI in NHS speak) or at least they should have done their own internal investigation. If this is the case you may be able to obtain a copy of the report which will also assist your case. If they have investigated as part of an SUI they may well offer to make a settlement straight away. You should seek advice before deciding whether to accept and if you do decide to accept make it a 'contingent settlement' ie: you may wish to add to it later if there are any additional costs that arise later.
In the meantime, contact Action Against Medical Accidents (AVMA) Tel: 020 8686 8333
AVMA are a free service who provide confidential advice and support for victims of medical accidents. This includes advice, medical information or explanations; help in getting the issues investigated; assessment of potential for obtaining compensation; referral to an appropriate solicitor etc. There is a waiting time before they respond but their help will be invaluable. Don't accept anything from the hospital before getting their opinion/advice. HTH
No further advice but am shocked at how awful it was. Hopefully you will get over the trauma one way or another Maybe get a doula for the next baby?
sorry to hear you went through all this.
i have no further advice either re the legal side,but i would urge you to keep talking about it,either on here on in rl.
Have just read through your other thread and I really feel for you. I am in the process of talking to a solicitor myself regarding clinical negligence at my dd's birth.
From personal experience only (can't say this is all fact!)
You have 3 years to pursue a case. Most solicitors will offer you a free initial consultation to discuss if you have a case or not. They will ask you to check all means of funding the case which can include any insurance policies or assistance from a union (should you be a member of one), or whether you would be entitled to legal aid. If there are no options for funding they may consider no win no fee. They will ask the hospital concerned for full disclosure of your medical notes and have to say that it is because legal action is being considered. It can be a long process and can be stressful.
You mentioned that the hospital had lost your notes, how did they manage to investigate your complaint without them?.
BTW I didn't bother with a complaint as it was unlikely that the hospital would admit any wrong doing. I just paid for a copy of my notes which I gave to my solicitor and she advised me that they would still request them from the hospital as I may not have been given all of it!.
Have you contaced AIMS? They can help you with your case and will support you. http://www.aims.org.uk
Don't have another baby at that hospital. Just refuse. They can't make you.
Nightmarebirth, I am so sorry you had such a difficult time. I can't offer you legal advice, but I want you to know that although I had a very different experience to you, mine was also rather nasty. Like you, I am also terrified at the thought of having another. See what you can do about getting some support and maybe counselling to help you through this. It is difficult, but it will help you deal with the many, many emotions that go along with a difficult experience like this. I am also following steps to try and address my experiences and it is really hard! Even so, following this up, standing up for yourself, and speaking out can also help the healing process. Just be aware that it is very emotional, and can be exhausting.
There is also the birth trauma website, the ladies on the forum there are amazing, and offer a lot of support. It helps to chat with them, and know that they really understand, as they have been through very difficult birth experiences themselves.
Sorry this is a long reply. Whatever you choose to do, I hope that you can find a way through this and heal so that you can enjoy motherhood, and face the prospect again with hope and positive thoughts.
just an update- a lawyer is currently pursuing the negligence towards my baby when he was cut during his cs.
the hospital wrote back to m complaint telling me i was a liar and the midwives are all wonderful (words to that effect) they also said i was "aggressive" to a midwife on my 3rd day - the very day a mw told me i might have pnd . really love, what a suprise
my lawyer told me she is very much in demand regarding mumns suing midwives for crap stitching combined with awful care during and after the birth. she said more women should complain -not necessarily go legal, but make their voice heard.
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