Paul McNeil, a leading medical negligence lawyer at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, believes that injuries resulting from obstetric negligence cases are a major source of litigation against the NHS and other UK healthcare providers. Speaking at the C5 Advanced Forum on Obstetric Negligence, held in London in May '08, Paul stated that these cases are the NHS’s most expensive and a big concern for medical staff.
Paul confirmed that there are many common errors made in obstetric negligence cases, including the misreading of ultrasound scans, the use of forceps, effectively diagnosing and treating co-existing illnesses, and the misinterpretation of CTGs (a method of recording the foetal heart rate).
Other negligent errors that occur include the improper use of syntocinon, a drug used to induce labour for medical reasons or if labour has not started naturally, and using blood samples during labour.
In his talk discussing these errors from a claimant lawyer's perspective, Paul provided diverse examples of clinical negligence case studies and advised on the best practices in the management of obstetric negligence claims on behalf of claimants. A panel of healthcare experts discussed key issues in obstetric negligence, and provided information on the latest developments and current best practice.
The conference was attended by medical negligence lawyers, obstetricians, gynaecologists, hospital and clinical risk managers, senior midwives and obstetric nurses.
Speaking after the conference Paul said: “Obstetric negligence cases cost the NHS hundreds of million pounds every year. It still requires the utmost skill to win a case on behalf of a child with cerebral palsy. Only expert lawyers with specialist experience can deal with such cases. The conference was a useful forum to exchange views and hone skills.”
About Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP:
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP is a full-service European law firm with offices in Brussels, Hamburg and London. With 119 partners, over 200 other lawyers and nearly 300 support staff, we assist a wide range of international clients, advising across a full range of legal issues.
The main areas of practice are corporate and commercial, IP and technology, banking and finance, regulatory and real estate. Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP also have particular expertise in competition & EU law, dispute resolution, employment, personal injury and clinical negligence, public sector and tax.
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