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The RCM regularly responds to consultations from the NHS, government and other organisations on issues that affect maternity services. Our responses aim to represent members' views and provide an expert midwifery perspective to influence decision makers.

A new Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme for birth injuries – your views are needed by 26 May 2017

The National Maternity Review recommended that the Department of Health (DH) should consider a Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme for severe avoidable birth injuries. The RRR scheme aims to introduce a system of consistent, robust, and independent investigations for all instances where there may be severe avoidable birth injury, along with access to ongoing support and compensation for eligible babies through an administrative scheme without the need to bring a claim through the courts, with the main aims of:

  • Reducing the number of severe avoidable birth injuries by encouraging a learning culture;
  • Improving the experience of families and clinicians when harm has occurred; and
  • Making more effective use of NHS resources.

This would be a voluntary scheme which would not affect an individual's right to litigate. The scheme would apply to harm associated with treatment under NHS maternity services in England only.

The DH is launching this public, 12 week consultation in order to gather a wide range of views which will enable them to fully consider and design a policy which supports the needs of families; effectively reduces the number of harmful incidents; and is operationally deliverable.

The DH also intends to use this consultation as a call for further data and evidence, to help them to further enhance the evidence base and inform future policy decisions. Views on this consultation are particularly invited from:

  • Families and individuals who have been affected by a serious birth injury, in particular injury resulting in cerebral palsy/brain damage;
  • Clinicians who have experience of these serious events;
  • Charities, patient groups and legal organisations that have experience of these incidents and the litigation process;
  • National Research and Audit groups responsible for investigating these incidents currently

Responses are not restricted to these groups. We welcome the views of any person or organisation with an interest in this policy, directly or indirectly.

If you would like to hear more about this consultation and contribute, please visit this website: https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/rapid-resolution-and-redress/maternity-litigation/