A ruling lays bare the problem of inconsistent NICE guidelines and the illogicality they can create, as Jock Mackenzie explains

In the birth injury case, Sanderson v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust [2020] EWHC 20 (QB), the High Court considered the approach to be taken to the impact of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. 

The facts are straightforward. The claim concerned a 25-minute period leading to the claimant’s (C) delivery in 2002 and focused on the actions of the consultant obstetrician (B). The judgment sets out the relevant timeline effectively agreed between the parties.

There were two primary issues on breach of duty for the court to consider. The first concerned B’s decision to perform an FBS following her assessment between 00.40 and 00.48/49 hours.

C a...

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