How many personal injury claims go to court?

The reason why only a small number of claims make it to the courts is due to the majority of claims being pursued by solicitors on behalf of the client. If the claim is taken on by solicitors it will have already been judged to have a high chance of success.

Your solicitor will always try their best to settle claims without them going to court. This is beneficial for both parties as it gets matters resolved in a timely and amicable fashion. However, in some instances matters will need to be taken to court to be looked at. Although it is not unheard of for personal injury claims to go to trial, it is very rare that they do.

In fact, around only 5% of personal injury claims go to court to be put in front of a judge.

Why do most claims never make it to court?

The reason why only a small number of claims make it to the courts is due to the majority of claims being pursued by solicitors on behalf of the client. If the claim is taken on by solicitors it will have already been judged to have a high chance of success.

The other reason most claims do not make it to court is due to the money it costs to send claims to court. Neither side wants to be responsible for paying the court fees, in some cases the defendants will settle even if they think they are in the right, simply to avoid the cost of court proceedings.

What are the reasons for claims going to court?

The possibility that a claim is going to court is nothing to worry about. This simply means that both parties have not been able to reach a settlement and the court needs to take a decision on one or all aspects of the claim. Claims may go to court for the following reasons:

  • Uncooperative defendant – If the other side is not responding or co-operating with your solicitors, then matters may need to be taken to court.
  • Large complex cases – Whilst a lot of cases, even if complex, can be dealt out of court, there are some cases with complex, long term damage that needs to be looked at by the court. This includes brain injury cases, lifelong injuries and conditions that have led to severe disability and deterioration in quality of life.
  • Interim compensation payments – Sometimes injuries can lead to clients being unable to work. Other times payments may be required towards care costs and other damages. In these circumstances the matter would need to be put in front of a judge so an interim payment can be made.

Will I have to stand in front of a Jury in court?

No. A personal injury claim is a civil claim and as such is not heard in front of a jury. You are not there to be judged by anyone. In fact, you will be appearing to have your say, effectively in front of a judge to help them understand how the accident has affected you. Often individuals who are afraid of going to court end up finding it an empowering experience when they are able to stand up and express exactly how the accident has injured them and the effect this has had on them.

What do I do if my claim is issued at court?

If your lawyer has issued your claim in court, this is because they have felt it necessary to do so. Lawyers will initially communicate with the other side and always try to reach an amicable settlement in winning you the best injury compensation. Sometimes defendants (the other side) are not cooperative or become unresponsive. They do this because they feel ignoring the issue might make you go away or intimidate you.

As such, it is important that your lawyer issues your claim which shows the other side they are serious about pursuing it, and the other side needs to engage with them in a proper way.

Just because your claim is issued, does not mean it will definitely be put in front of a judge at a hearing. A large quantity of claims that are issued end up being settled before a hearing as this is cost effectively for both sides. This is because issuing a claim shows the other side you are serious about your claim and injuries.

However, if your claim is issued and needs to be heard, you need not worry. It is a standard process which is needed to get you the justice and compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim.

What is the compensation recovery unit (CRU)?

The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) is a government body which forms a part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Whilst your Solicitor is working on your Injury Compensation Claim, they will inform the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) to ensure any state benefits due to your injury or losses due to the accident are recovered from the other side. This is a completely behind the scene process.

The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) will contact your opponent in the Injury Claim to recover any cost of medical treatment you may have received from the NHS. CRU will also recover benefits such as universal credit, income support or mobility allowance. These are recovered from the other side and you as a claimant do not need to worry about it.

Will the CRU deduct money from my compensation?

Personal Injury Claim Compensation is made up of General Damages and Special Damages, both of which are treated differently:

  • General Damages: This is the amount of compensation paid for suffering and loss of amenity. Loss of Amenity means loss of function and ability to complete or undertake tasks which you were able to undertake without issue before your injury caused by the accident. An example would be recreational activities or not being able to socialise as before.
  • Special Damages: These are expenses or financial losses incurred as a direct result of the accident. For example; care, travel, therapy etc.

General Damages are not deductible, so this means your compensation for your pain and suffering as a result of the accident are not affected.

Out of the special damages state benefits and NHS costs can be deducted. These are usually taken from the other side with minimal impact on you as a personal injury claimant.

The CRU will send you the claimant, and the compensator a certificate of recoverable benefit so you know the correct amount which is being deducted. If by any chance you do not agree with this due to an error in the figures you can ask the CRU to review the certificate. This is called a “Mandatory Reconsideration”. After this you still have a chance to appeal the decision but this should be done within one month of the decision following Mandatory Reconsideration.

Who deals with Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) matters through the Injury Claim?

Your appointed solicitor will take care of this for you. This is a standard, seamless process in the background. Your solicitor should also be able to check CRU certificate with you and go over the figures for you to avoid any inaccuracies. This should give you the peace of mind that your claim is being handled professionally so you can focus on getting back to normal.

Workplace Fatalities in the UK – Facts and Statistics

This year 111 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2019 and March 2020 in the UK alone. Despite a fall of 38 deaths when compared to the previous year, it is still evident that more could be done to ensure the safety of all workers in the UK. The large fall is thought to partly be due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy in from February 2020 onwards.

With these workplace fatality figures not including deaths from occupational disease, the COVID-19 infection is not part of these figures. How many who have lost their lives to COVID-19 after becoming infected within their workplace is yet to be established.

Which sector is most dangerous for workers?

Figures show that 40 construction industry workers were fatally injured during accidents in their workplace, this is above the average of 37 for the previous 5 years. The average number of deaths in the construction industry is around 4 times higher than the all industry rate.

However when you take into account the number of people employed in the construction industry the deaths per 100,000 workers rate is less than those working in the agricultural, forestry and fishing workers. 20 workers from the sector suffered fatal injuries in 2019/20, the lowest level since records began. It also hold the accolade of highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate.

Over the last 40 years the UK has made vast improvements to improve worker safety, although one sector is struggling more than others in recent years. This year, 5 waste and recycling workers lost their lives in workplace accidents, that is an average of 4.57 in every 100,000.

What are the main kinds of fatal accidents for workers?

More than three quarters of all fatal injuries in both 2019/20 and the combined five year period leading up to it can be accounted for by just five types of different accidents. In fact over half of all fatal injuries to workers since 2001/2 were caused by just three kinds, falls from a height, struck by a moving vehicle, or being struck by a moving, including flying or falling, object.

29 workers lost their lives after an accident involving a fall from a height, accounting for around a quarter of all worker deaths over the year, which has been the case consistently for the previous five years.

20 workers were killed after being struck by a moving vehicle in their workplace during 2019/20, representing just under 20% of all worker deaths over the year. This is down from 26 who were fatally injured in the previous year.

18 workers were fatally injured after being struck by a moving object, including flying, or falling objects. They represent sixteen percent of workplace deaths, similar to the previous 5 years.

15 workers were killed after trapped or crushed by something collapsing or overturning during 2019/20. While 11 workers died after coming into contact with moving machinery in the workplace.

The final 18 workers who lost their lives in workplace accidents are made up of various different kinds of accidents including (but not limited to):

  • Slips trips of falls on the same level
  • Exposure to, or contact with, a harmful substance
  • Exposure to an explosion
  • Injured by an animal
  • Strike against something fixed or stationary
  • Exposure to fire
  • Contact with electricity or electrical discharge

Who is most at risk?

Of the 111 workplace fatalities in 2019/20, 97% of those killed in workplace accidents were male, a similar proportion to recent years. This is due to male workers holding positions in more dangerous industries, it is thought in the UK that just one in eight construction workers are women.

When it comes to age, workers aged 60 and over are those most at risk of suffering a fatal injury in the workplace despite them only accounting for around 10% of the overall workforce. 30 workers, 27% of all fatally injured during 2019/20 were over the age of 60. Whereas the other 80 workers killed were aged between 16-59, accounting for 72% of all fatalities, despite making up 90% of the overall workforce.

The average rate of workers killed for every 100,000 workers between 2015/16 and 2019/20 sits at 0.42 while those aged 65+ have an average of 1.77 in every 100,000 workers. The figures show that once a worker reaches the age of 55 they are in a group of workers more at risk than the annual average for the first time in their lives.

Making a claim for a fatal accident at work

Losing a loved one is a tragic, often life changing event, if they are fatally injured while carrying out their job the heartache is likely to be compounded. Our team of experts are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your loss; they have helped hundreds of clients over the past 20 years. All of our claims are handled on a no win no fee basis, meaning you’ll pay nothing win or lose. Speak to our team now by calling 0800 285 1411 or complete an online enquiry form

Birth Negligence in the UK – Facts and Statistics

Childbirth is one of the most extremely delicate natural processes a female body can go through during which many complications can occur which can have negative impacts on the not only the mother but also the new-born’s health.

As such, medical staff need to ensure the mother and baby’s conditions are monitored with the utmost care. Inadequate medical care can harm the mother and baby’s health, sometimes with lifelong devastating impact.

According to The Birth Trauma Association (BTA), around 30,000 women experience birth Trauma in the UK. This can lead to PTSD, physical injuries to the mother and baby, or developmental issues for the baby which can have life-long impact on their quality of life. Injuries to the mother during birth can have complications later on in life with future deliveries.

What can go wrong due to negligent medical care?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that in England and Wales circa 2018, 2488 infant deaths occurred. This is compared to 2586 deaths in 2013. Despite the small reduction in 5 years this number is still not acceptable especially when you consider in 2018, 2488 families lost a baby.

  • Failure to treat or identify infections: Infections such as Pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs or Sepsis in the Mother can negatively affect the baby if left unidentified and not adequately treated.
  • Leftover or retained Prenatal Tissue: Retained foetal tissue or Placenta after birth can lead to severe health complications for the mother if not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion.
  • Negligent caesarean section procedures: C-section treatment which leaves surgical damage to organs can have devastating impact on the mother after birth, especially with infections amongst other complications.
  • Botched episiotomies & tissue damage: During birth, episiotomies might be required to assist in difficult delivery. If incorrectly performed these can have severely negative impact on the mother’s health, especially in the case of third degree and fourth degree perineal tears.
  • Birth trauma monitoring: Inadequate monitoring of the mother and baby during birth can lead to distress and trauma for the mother and baby with devastating impact.
  • Mistakes in screening: The unborn can be screened for abnormal developmental issues such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida and other genetic, chromosomal disorders. This allows for parents with the option to terminate a pregnancy which can prevent lifelong struggle for the child and the parent. If these are not carried out adequately, it is negligent on the medical professional’s part.

Who is responsible for birth injury?

In the UK, Doctors, Nurses and other medical professionals are trained to adhere to the highest standards of care. Whilst in most cases they are successful in carrying out these duties, in some cases mistakes do happen.

Unfortunately, these mistakes mean lifelong, devastating impact on the Mother and Child’s life as such needs to be taken very seriously.

Who do I make a claim against?

Responsibility for birth trauma and Negligence can be attributed to the medical professionals who administered the care. It is important to recognise at which stage of the process the lapse in duty occurred.

  • In some cases, such as a C-Section birth, the surgeon performing the surgery can cause damage to other organs,
  • In other instances, an Anaesthetist can cause damage, especially in cases where Epidurals are administered into the spine.
  • Sometimes Midwifery issues can occur such as tears and ruptures.
  • Similarly, doctors can miss out on important blood tests which detect genetic and developmental issues.

In all the above instances, the employers of the professionals will be responsible for issues such as compensation. Speaking to a professional about your particular circumstance shall help them identify who is responsible and whom the claim is to be brought to.

What can I claim for after suffering birth injury and trauma?

You can make a compensation claim for not only the trauma and negative impact on your health but also other costs such as:

General & Special Damages – This includes compensation for the Professional and Institution’s negligence and compensation for procedural and equipment failures which caused injury.

Future Medical Care – You can claim for any future medical expenses or healthcare expenses such as specialist healthcare or rehabilitation or ongoing care.

Travel expenses – All transportation costs related to the birth injury are included in this.

Funeral costs – In the event of death, this covers funerary costs.

How much compensation could you receive?

The amount of money you get as compensation will be entirely dependant on the severity of the breath of duty of care. It will also depend on the severity of injury, any future impact and recovery. However, as a rough guide below is a table to help you with a rough estimate:

Cerebral PalsyMost Severe£200k – £1m+
Brain InjuryMost Severe£180k – £1m+
Organ InjuryMost Severe£3k – £100k+
Psychiatric InjuryMost Severe£2k – £68k+

Start a claim

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury during child birth we can help. Our team of experts have handled hundreds of successful claims for negligence during child birth. We also deal with matters on a no win no fee basis, which means you do not have to pay anything out of your pocket if you lose. Speak to our team today by calling 0800 285 1411 or complete an online enquiry form now.

Workplace Bullying in the UK – Facts and Statistics

Bullying is totally unacceptable behaviour in modern day society but is still a huge problem in many settings, workplaces are one of those. Employees should be treated with dignity and respect at all times. Bullying or harassment at work is a major problem which can make the daily lives of many intolerable, often leading to ill-health and work related stress disorders, not to mention the huge effect on staff morale.

This is not only a problem for the employees but also employers, workers affected by bullying may take long periods of sick leave or leave altogether. In many organisations workplace bullying can go unnoticed but in some cases there is a culture of bullying and harassment which may be accepted or encouraged.

What is workplace bullying and harassment?

There is no conclusive definition of workplace bullying because it can take many different forms. It occurs in a wide ranges of situations and crosses gender, race, age or involve a number of individuals. But we consider some of the most common types of bullying as persistent offensive, intimidating, humiliating behaviour which causes offence to an individual or group of employees.

Workplace bullying is normally carried out face to face, but also happens in writing, by telephone, text messaging, emails and on social media platforms.

Harassment can be defined as conduct which is unwanted, offensive and affects the dignity of an individual or group or individuals. Regardless of whether the harassment is intentional or not, if the person being harassed sees the comments as disrespectful, offensive, rude, or demeaning, harassment is taking place.

Harassment is caused by prejudice against specific members of society, whether it be racial or sexual harassment or harassment on grounds of religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Most forms of harassment are outlawed by specific legislation.

Examples of workplace bullying

Bullying in the workplace can take many different forms, we have highlighted some of the most common forms of bullying and real life examples of bullying.

Public verbal abuse

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, however human error does not entitle colleagues, whether senior or not, to publicly shame a member of staff. A conversion should take place in a private setting, which prevents the member of staff from feeling embarrassed or ashamed.

“I was blamed for my mistakes in front of the entire office. I was shouted at and told to do the work that should have been done and not to do it again. Everyone was listening as the manager shouted at me.”

Undermining actions

As an employee, you are probably giving your maximum effort to complete the job to the best of your ability. So when a colleague, or senior member of staff undermines the work you are carrying out, it can make you feel worthless and you may even question your ability.

“The manager totally undermined me in front of clients, giving them the impression I was not capable of helping them and advising them to come another day.”

Cyber bullying

The advances in technology has seen a new way in which to bully, harass and abuse workers. Cyber bullying is defined as ‘any use of information and communications technology to support deliberate and hostile attempts to hurt, upset or embarrass another person”.

Eight out of 10 workers in the UK said that they have experienced a form of cyber bullying at least once in the last six months. It is thought that between 14-20% of workers suffer from cyber bullying on a weekly basis.

Cyber bullying in the workplace comes in many forms but some common examples are:

  • Offensive emails
  • Email threats
  • Posting defamatory gossip on blogs and social networking sites
  • Threats or offensive comments by text
  • Harassment by email
  • Posting private and personal details about someone online
    • Under the Malicious Communications Act 1998 it is an offence to send an indecent, offensive, or threatening letter, electronic communication, or other article to another person and under section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 it is a similar offence to send a telephone message that is indecent, offensive, or threatening.

The cost of bullying

Those who have to endure bullying at their workplace will often develop mental health issues. This is evident, with 40% of all sickness absences relating to stress. This can have staggering effect on an organisation, with other members of staff having a higher work load, alongside lower performance and morale.

For the individual, bullying can cause feelings of frustration and anger, lead to stress, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. In extreme circumstances the workplace bullying has led to self-harm and even suicide. Some common symptoms of bullying include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Ulcers
  • Contemplating suicide
  • Sleeplessness
  • Skin rashes
  • Tearfulness
    • In addition, where employers base recruitment and promotion decisions on sickness absence levels, bullying and harassment can have a major impact on the career of individuals.

Can you claim compensation for workplace bullying?

Yes, there is two specific types of compensation for workplace bullying, general damages, and special damages. General damages is compensation for any pain and suffering, mental trauma, and any life changing injuries you may have suffered. The level of compensation to be awarded reflects the specific of each individual case.

Special damages is the reimbursement of costs as a consequence of the bullying or to fund any future treatment you may require. These can include loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, medical expenses, future medical expenses, additional transportation costs and adaptions to your home.

Start your claim now

If you or a loved one has or is currently dealing with bullying and or harassment in the workplace then we want to help you. We know first-hand how difficult it can be to start the claims process and are here to offer you guidance and support from start to finish. We believe that all employees deserve to be treated well and with dignity at all times.

Our team has helped hundreds of clients get the compensation they deserve as well as being influential in the restructuring of organisations which have battled to stamp out bullying within their workplaces. Reach out to us by calling the team on 0800 285 1411 or complete an online enquiry form now.

Medical Negligence in the UK – Facts and Statistics

Each year the NHS receives more than 10,000 new claims for compensation for medical or clinical negligence. Although the number of claims have been in gradual decline when compared to the number of procedures carried out, we believe this number remains far too high and are here to help anyone who has been failed by our healthcare system.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence is when a medical professional or institute is in breach of the legal duty of care it owes to the patient. Medical or Clinical negligence can be almost anything which results in the patient coming to harm due to an individual or a process.

Some of the most frequent causes of claim are misdiagnosis and birth related negligence, others include failed or unnecessary operations. However, it is important to understand that with all medical procedure there is an inherent risk for the procedure to not work as desired, this does not always constitute negligence.

If you or a family member has had to endure an unsuccessful operation or had a poor outcome from treatment you may have difficulty making a claim. A claim for medical negligence has to be backed by evidence showing the operation was not carried out to an acceptable standard.

Medical and Clinical Negligence Facts and Statistics

A report recently published by the NHS states “In 2019/20 we have received 11,682 new clinical negligence claims and incidents, an increase of 998 (9.35%) compared to 2018/19”. While not all of these incidents lead to a claim being made, an incident should still be taken very seriously as it can show a potential weakness or vulnerability within the care provided.

The new Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) received 401 new claims and incidents, of these 336 were reported incidents with 65 being actual claims.

Compared to 2018/19 there was an increase of 404 incidents reported in clinical negligence schemes excluding the CNSGP. One of the areas which has seen the largest increase in reported incidents is the gynaecology speciality, accounting for 208 of the 404 incidents reported, an increase of 145%.

The report states: “These claims involve the insertion of tension-free vaginal tape, transobturator tape, transvaginal tension free vaginal tape-obturator or vaginal mesh (vaginal tape or mesh) to treat symptoms of stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse and allegations tend to centre around (but not exclusively) failure to obtain adequate consent (e.g. failure to warn of risks of procedures or failure to offer alternative treatment) and/or substandard performance of surgery.”

The number of claims settled out of court has increased, something the NHS has been looking to improve on for some time, making claims less stressful for claimants and reducing the overall cost to the NHS. 71.5% of 15,550 clinical and non-clinical claims were settled with no proceedings in 2019/20 with 34.2% (5,312) being awarded damages, the other 37.3% (5,805) received no damages.

27.9% of claims were settled after formal court proceedings had been issued, with the majority (3,517) receiving damages, 823 claims were settled with no damages being awarded. Only 0.6% (93) of all claims made it to a trial in a court, of these 23 claimants were awarded damaged with the other 70 receiving no compensation.

Types of medical negligence

One of the most difficult parts of making a medical negligence claim can often be the doubt that you have suffered enough for a claim to be made, it can be a difficult decision choosing whether to pursue compensation, especially from the NHS.

We all understand how valuable the NHS is to society and recognise the amazing work they perform. But mistakes will and do occur, part of the long term improvements in care come from the claims which are made, helping to show potential weaknesses in the healthcare system.

Surgical negligence claims

It is important to remember the NHS performs millions of operations every year, the vast majority being successful.

Surgical negligence claims can often include, poor surgical performance, organ perforation during the procedure, the wrong operation being performed, the wrong part of the body being operated on and infections caused by poor hygiene or unsterilised equipment.

Birth injury claims

Childbirth is a wonderful time for most families, a time when a new addition has the ability to bring people together and an instant bond is created.

Unfortunately not all births do go to plan and both mother and or baby can be left with serious long term issues if undiagnosed or improperly treated by medical staff. Even worse, some injuries can be fatal. We strongly believe that no family should have to go through the trauma of losing a loved one during a childbirth.

Some fairly common claims for compensation for failings during childbirth include pre-eclampsia, uterine rupture, wrongful birth cases, cerebral palsy, second or third degree tears, hip dysplasia and the delay or failure to perform a caesarean section.

Misdiagnosis claims

In the UK it is common knowledge that GPs and medical professionals are under increasing pressure to deliver their services to a growing, ageing population. This strain has led to more mistakes being made in the diagnosis of patients conditions, common grounds for a misdiagnosis claim include:

When an illness or condition is missed entirely by the medical professional, albeit on a single occasion or multiple times.

An incorrect diagnosis, whether any incorrect treatment was carried out is irrelevant.

Failure of a GP to refer in time and to an appropriate specialist.

Failure to conduct appropriate investigations such as X-Rays.

Can you make a claim for medical negligence?

If you have been let down by a medical professional or a medical institute then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. When it comes to submitting a claim for compensation we would always recommend speaking to a solicitor, our team have years’ experience in handling claims against medical institutes. We always push for the maximum levels of compensation to help you or a loved one recover fully.

Most of our claims never reach the courts and we enter in early discussions with the defendants to settle the matter in the shortest time possible. If you are unsure about making a claim or unsure if you have a potential claim, please call the team at Injury Lawyers UK on 0800 285 1411 or submit an online enquiry form

Derek Mackay: A case of sexual abuse of minors and abuse of position of power

Between 2016-2017, in England alone, there were more than 43000 recorded sexual offenses against children under 16 years of age. An additional 11,000 were recorded for children above 16 years and under 18 years of age.

Police has been uncovering an “epidemic” of child sexual abuse going back the past few decades. In 2014, allegations that led to guilty verdict were reported to be 4,024 after matters were investigated by the police. These incidents of abuse are many decades old and often involve individuals of authority and power such as religious workers, care workers, youth workers and teachers. The impact on victims had ranged from lifelong trauma, PTSD and in some severe cases suicide for the victims who were left with severe mental and emotional problems.

Instances of such abuse of power exist to this day. Recently, a senior SNP member Derek Mackay came under scrutiny when suggestive texts to a 16 year old were exposed. Mackay contacted the young man over Facebook making comments about his looks calling him “Cute”. Mackay was seemingly made aware of the age of his target by the boy himself but despite this continued in this line of inappropriate correspondence. The young man, who cannot be named due to his age expressed feelings of being “grossed out” by the exchange. He further commented “I was nervous about telling her because I felt stupid about it”. He added “I didn’t want her to be disappointed because she had warned me about the dangers of social media but I still fell for it”.

Who is Derek Mackay?

Mr Mackay, who is the finance minister for SNP is the father of a teenage son. He should have known better. However this abuse of power does not stop with this one instance. He also bombarded SNP activist Shaun Cameron, 25, with “creepy” messages. Mackay met Shaun at an SNP fundraiser whom he later tracked down on Facebook before making suggestive comments asking about his sexuality. He asked Shaun for “naughty pics” before putting pressure on him to keep their correspondence private. Shaun has expressed his inability to tell Mackay to back off due to his standing with the SNP. Shaun was 21 when this started and it went on for years.

In a time when cases of grooming gangs are so prevalent in the news, it is perhaps not surprising to see such blatant abuse of power from high profile politicians.

Mr Mackay released a statement in response to the allegations against him; “I take full responsibility for my actions. I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry”. He goes on to add “”I apologise unreservedly to the individual involved and his family”. He has also resigned from his position with the SNP and has this to say about his time with the party; “I spoke last night to the First Minister and tendered my resignation with immediate effect”. “Serving in government has been a huge privilege and I am sorry to have let colleagues and supporters down”.

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, and leader of the SNP had this to say regarding Mr Mackay’s resignation; “Derek has taken full responsibility for his actions and apologises unreservedly for them to the individual and to those he has let down. He has submitted his resignation as a government minister which I have accepted”. “Derek has made a significant contribution to government; however he recognises that his behaviour has failed to meet the standards required.”

“I have behaved foolishly and I am truly sorry”

Although Derek Mackay has been disgraced in this manner and lost his position as the finance minister at the SNP, to be replaced by Kate Forbes, it still acts as a stark reminder that sometimes people in position of power can abuse it. It is important to note when instances such as this happen the focus should not only be on bringing the perpetrator to justice but also looking for the best interest of the victims.

Thus far there have been no claims brought forward by the victims affected in this saga however it is important to note Mr Mackay has only been suspended by the SNP at the time of writing but remains a member of the Scottish Parliament.

NHS negligence during birth, leads to claimant receiving 20m in compensation

A young girl, who suffered Cerebral Palsy due to errors by the Royal Berkshire Hospital, due to clinical negligence during birth, has been awarded 20.7 Million in compensation. The girl, who cannot be named due to age, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. According to her clinical negligence lawyers, who brought the claim forward on her behalf, the hospital missed four chances of delivering her sooner, which would have prevented lifelong injuries.

The chief medical officer for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Janet Lippett expressed “deep regrets” and advised the trust was “pleased that a settlement has been made” due to the level of care provided that “fell below our usual standard”. Dr Lippett went on to add the institution “wish the family well for the future”.

The 8 year old, who suffered traumatic birth, has an “extremely positive attitude to life” according to her legal representation. Despite being intellectually capable, she suffers from physical disabilities that severely affect her life. As such, care is required for the youngster around the clock. As the child grows older, she is increasingly frustrated by the limitations that will affect her for the rest of her life.

The claimant’s solicitors allege the Hospital did not opt for a caesarean section soon enough, having failed to respond to her hearty rate for hours before birth. This caused irreparable brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.

David Balcombe QC, who represented the trust expressed “No amount of financial compensation will ever be sufficient, bearing in mind how (the girl’s) life has been so badly affected, but what we do hope is that the award will provide financial security for her for the rest of her life.” He also offered the Trust’s “unreserved apology”.

The girl’s mother advised this settlement would go towards 24-hour care for her child and this would mean her daughter can “achieve the best possible life and fulfil her great potential”.

Judge Margaret Obi approved the settlement that would provide more than £20 Million over the girl’s lifetime to meet her care and needs. Judge Obi also paid tribute to the family for their devotion and care and wished the family well in the future.

This case highlights the difficulties that may arise during childbirth even at the hands of trained professionals with high standards of care. Unfortunately, a lapse of judgement can not only affect the baby during birth but also severely hamper their ability to leave a “normal” life. This in turn can have implications both financially and emotionally for the families who are left caring for the individual for the rest of their days.

Should you be aware of such an instance, even if you feel this unavoidable, it is important to seek advice in relation to compensation, which can often be a very crucial factor in attaining the best quality of care and life for the people affected.

Mental Health Act – Facts and Statistics

The Mental Health Act is a law which helps doctors decide if a person with a mental health problem needs to be kept in hospital. Patients detained under the act are often said to have been sectioned. Patients can be detained in the interests of their own health or safety, or for the protection of other people. They can also be treated in the community but subject to recall to hospital for assessment and/or treatment under a Community Treatment Order (CTO).

How many people have been detained?

Between April 1st 2018 and March 31st 2019 people were detained under the Mental Health Act 49,988 times. Some of these detentions may be related to the same patient who have been detained more than once.

Data seen in the annual figures produced by the NHS and the Office of National Statistics show that for every 100,000 men in the UK 91.4 have been sectioned at some point during 2018-19. While 83.2 women per 100,000 were sectioned. Amongst adults, detention rates tend to decline with age, detention rates for the 18-34 age group stand at 128.9 per 100,000 people. This is around a third higher than for those aged 50-64, with 89.0 per 100,000 being detained.

Analysis shows that in 2018-19, 84.5% of detained people were only detained once, a further 15.5% of these went on to be detained again. Only 2.5% had to be detained more than twice. These results are very similar to last year, which suggest that repeated detention for the same people are not a major factor in the rising levels of detention in England.

This also goes to show that the detention method used by doctors to help those in need of care works with just under 70% of people not being detained more than once.

Looking to the future

The Mental Health Act is likely to become more and more prominent in coming years as the health and social services aiming to better protect the vulnerable people in communities across the UK. Sectioning patients can not only help protect patients at their most vulnerable times but also help them make a recovery and enable them to be allowed back into the community.

We believe that as a country we need to combat the underlying issues that cause people to pose a risk to themselves or others around them. Only then will we see the numbers start to decline but unfortunately that’s likely to be some time away.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the UK 2020

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the UK 2020

About a third of all adults in England report having experienced at least one traumatic event. Traumatic events were defined as experiences that either put a person, or someone close to them, at risk of serious harm or death, like a major natural disaster, a serious car accident, being raped, or a loved one dying by murder or suicide.

Individuals who experience such trauma may go on to develop PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a severe and disabling condition, characterised by flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance, numbing and hyper-vigilance. While effective treatment exist, many with the condition delay seeking help or are not identified by health services.

How many are affected in the UK?

A survey completed by the office of national statistics in 2014 had participants complete a 17 item PTSD checklist. Those with a score of 50 ore more were identified as screening positive for PTSD. A positive screen did not mean that a disorder was present, only that there was sufficient symptoms to warrant a further investigation.

Overall, about one in twenty (4.4%) screened positive, with similar rates for bot men and women. Among women, the likelihood of screening positive for PTSD was particularly high among 16-24 year olds with 12.6% positive. This then declined sharply with age, while in men the rate remained stable between the ages of 16 and 64, declining in much later life.

People screening positive for PTSD were about six times more likely to have recently used health care for a mental or emotional problem, than those who screened negative (60.5% compared with 10.4%). However, by no means all had done so: four in ten adults who screened positive had not spoken with a GP about mental or emotional health in the last year (39.8%).

Around half of those screened positive for PTSD (50.9%) were currently receiving treatment for a mental or emotional problem. The most common form of treatment was psychotropic (mental health) medication, either on its own (26.9% of those who screened positive), or in a combination with psychological therapy (16.7%). Psychological therapy without medication was the least common form of treatment (7.3%).

Is the problem growing?

Although this survey was taken in 2014 the evidence very much reflects the growing problem within society. The next survey is due to take place in 2021 and will provide us with comparable results. We know how crippling post traumatic stress disorder can be for victims and that’s why we offer our services on a no win no fee basis to help victims get the support and compensation they deserve.

We believe that all those suffering should have access to the support from medical professionals, we have seen first hand how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can change peoples lives. We have also seen how with the right care and support people can move on from the traumatic event still causing them pain.