A public consultation regarding the government’s proposal to introduce a new compensation scheme for avoidable birth injuries will close on Friday 26 May 2017. 

The Rapid Resolution and Redress (RRR) scheme was proposed in October 2016 by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

In March 2017 the government published a consultation document outlining its proposal to introduce a voluntary administrative compensation scheme for families affected by severe avoidable birth injury. The consultation is open to the public and seeks views from any person or organisation with an interest in the proposed policy.

The RRR scheme was recommended to the Department of Health by the National Maternity Review.

The scheme aims to allow affected families to access to compensation more quickly by going through an administration scheme without the need to bring a claim through the courts. It also proposes to introduce a system of independent investigations into avoidable birth injury to ensure lessons are learned.

The scheme would be voluntary and does not prevent affected families bringing claims through the court system.

Leigh Day has a wealth of experience representing families and individuals who have been affected by a serious birth injury. The Clinical Negligence Department at Leigh Day will be submitting a response to the consultation.

Henry Dyson, clinical negligence solicitor, said:

“We encourage anyone with an interest in the proposed policy to submit a response to the consultation.

“While anything which reduces the occurrence of such catastrophic, and often avoidable, injuries to child claimants is welcomed, we believe that aspects of the proposed scheme need refinement, such as the identity of the body that will run it.

“It is proposed that NHS Resolution (previously the NHS Litigation Authority) will be responsible for the RRR scheme. However, we are concerned that the perception will be that this body does not have the necessary independence from the NHS and this could discourage participation in the scheme by families affected by birth injuries.”

Following the closing of the consultation period the government intends to consider the responses and publish a public consultation response document.