The emotional needs of the families affected by medical errors are often neglected

Families who have suffered serious, and preventable, birth injuries are often emotionally neglected.

Sorry is a powerful word that goes a long way towards the emotional healing of the families who have been devastated following medical negligence.

We support families who have experienced the entire course of their lives being dramatically changed following avoidable significant injuries. We frequently hear that they have never received an acknowledgement for the mistakes made, nor a simple apology, from the medical professionals involved in their care.

We represent families across the country, and this is sadly a common theme regardless of the NHS Trust involved. The lack of forthcoming empathy can further compound the psychological trauma that follows these incidents and can often be overlooked.

Saying sorry is a simple gesture that demonstrates that those entrusted with patient care recognise the pain, devastation, and lasting impact that these families have to live with.

NHS Resolution published a leaflet encouraging doctors and nurses to be honest with patients following significant medical negligence. We are yet to see a real change, however.

NHS Resolution published its ‘Saying Sorry’ leaflet in April 2017 to encourage ‘openness, transparency and candour’ within the NHS.

It states that ‘saying sorry is always the right thing to do. Not an admission of liability. Acknowledges that something could have gone better. The first step to learning from what happened and preventing it recurring.’

Until there is a real change in the mindset within the NHS, these families will continue to be hurt by the additional pain of feeling that those responsible simply don’t care. NHS Resolution, the body that manages compensation claims against the NHS, encourages staff to be open, transparent and to practice candour with patients.

Put into practice, this would not only provide families who have suffered avoidable birth injuries with emotional support, but also paves the way to genuine learning and improvements in maternity care to ensure patient safety.

Families who have suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence can contact our friendly team for a free initial consultation on 01253 766 559.

Contact Diane Rostron

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If you suspect that your child suffered a preventable brain injury at birth, we can help. You can contact our team of medical and legal brain injury experts for a free initial consultation by calling 01253 766 559 or completing the form below.