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Birth injury claims scheme: Progress or a backwards step?

Lawyers will view any initiative aiming to tackle ‘litigation culture’ with scepticism, say Dominic Fairclough and Lucy Wilton

8 November 2016

On 17 October 2016 the Department of Health launched its ‘Safer Maternity Care’ action plan. This aims to help achieve the government’s ambitious target of halving the number of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths, and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030.

The action plan includes additional funding for training on maternity safety and piloting ways of improving care. There is also a reference to a Rapid Resolution and Redress (RRR) scheme. The government intends to consult on such a scheme for ‘cases where “avoidable harm” has occurred during the labour or delivery process’. At present, however, beyond a reference to a ‘similar’ process operating in Sweden, there is little further information to be gleaned from the action plan itself regarding the proposed scheme.

Nonetheless, the RRR scheme ...

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