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Claim against NHS

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  • Claim against NHS


    I am trying to get some information for a friend and am hoping somebody can help.

    In 2013 she gave birth to her stillborn baby in hospital. It had already been discovered that her baby had died prior to her having to give birth.From start to finish, the hospital staff were useless. She was left in the hospital room with minimal visits from the midwife and was not administered adequate pain relief. She ended up giving birth with no midwife present, which the midwife only discovered when she later popped into the room.

    Following the birth, my friend was left in the room for hours, with her dead baby. The room was hot and her baby’s condition was deteriorating fast. Some 10 hours later, and only after my friend querying what was to happen next, she was informed that there was a room she could be moved to, which was specifically for those situations.

    My friend was eventually moved to the room and, again, left for hours upon hours, with only minimal visits from staff. My friend still had no idea what the next step was and nobody bothered to discuss it with her. After my friend querying this on numerous occasions and still not being provided with the information she required, she eventually had to explain to the staff that she clearly needed to know what the next steps were with regards to her dead baby. Whereupon my friend was advised, in graphic detail, exactly what they intended to do with her baby….needless to say, she did not allow this.

    It has been an extremely difficult experience for my friend to move on from. However, she has managed to pursue complaints with the hospital, which of course got her nowhere.

    My friend is now considering court action against the hospital, but the only problem is that it has been almost 6 years. I am unsure if the circumstances described above would be classed as negligence involving personal injury, but I have discovered that the time limit for such action is 3 years. Therefore, I am wondering if somebody could advise if there is some way in which she could pursue her claim under a different heading (i.e. with a 6 years or more time limit)?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!
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  • #2

    Would really appreciate it if somebody could assist with this.

    Many thanks


    • #3
      If legal proceedings are not started at Court in line with the Limitation Act, the Court may not allow the claim.
      But there is nothing that prevents a Claimant from trying to bring a claim, although the Defendant is likely to apply to the Court to have the claim struck out on the basis that the limitation period has expired.

      The Court has the ability to extend the 3 year limitation period in cases that are not covered by the usual exceptions but will need to be satisfied that there is a very good reason for doing so.

      It is however very rare that the Court will extend the limitation period.


      • #4

        Thanks for your reply...I will relay this to my friend.

        Is there no other head of claim that she could use to cover the circumstances described? She is not interested in compensation...all she is seeking is an apology, but the NHS has been unwilling to provide this in response to her complaints.

        Many thanks.


        • #5
          Making a claim for clinical negligence is expensive and time consuming and difficult.
          Winning will not produce an apology as a clinical negligence claim is only about compensation.
          I suspect the hospital trust will not apologise, as doing so could be taken as an admission of negligence which might lead to a claim for compensation

          I can't think of any other basis your friend has for making a claim.
          From your account it seems she was neglected at a time when she would have been in desperate need for attention and my heart goes out to her


          • #6

            Thank you so much for your response...I'll relay this to her. The only thing I can think to suggest is that she make the matter public...maybe it would bring her some comfort to know that other people know about it and so what she suffered is not simply forgotten.

            Many thanks again!


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