Life used to be very simple. You found a husband, got married, got pregnant. A few people skipped the middle bit, but not so many as tipped the social balance.
When the time came, you tied a tea towel round the bed head, hung on for grim death and gave birth.
If you’d been fortunate enough to find a husband who had fed you well and looked after you, and God had smiled on you, you gave birth to a fine bouncing child who grew up to look after you when you got old.
If you hadn’t, then either God or the local midwife (your next door but one neighbour, not something that had done four years studying social science and ticking boxes) took care of the situation in mysterious ways that often seemed to involve a fluffy pillow in households that were simply not equipped to cope with a severely disabled child. Either way, you thanked God for his wisdom.
We (society) decided that this was pre-historic, barbaric, discriminatory and a lot of other things besides. So when we invented the NHS, we also invented Social Services, and Benefits. Now you didn’t need to find a husband first, and thanks to birth control, having a baby became a ‘lifestyle choice’, not the result of your own actions. You also became a ‘customer’ of the new fangled NHS, and their production line maternity suites.
Naturally as a ‘customer’ who had ‘chosen’ to have a baby, you had every expectation of a perfect product complete with warranty.When you didn’t get that, you sued, of course.
If you can find a way to blame the NHS for your child not being perfect (Note: you do have to be able to pin the blame on a NHS employee – ” she went off to have her lunch break ” “he was listening to his Ipod at the same time” that sort of thing) then the lawyers estimate on average, that the NHS will have to pay you around £6 million pounds these days. A staggering sum, but that is the lawyer’s estimate of the cost of caring for your less than perfect child in an absolutely perfect way – specially adapted house, all the help you might need etc.
Of course, we musn’t forget the Benefit system, for whether or not you were lucky enough to pin the blame on an NHS employee the benefit system still kicks in and provides DLA for the entire life of your child. It used to work out at around £340 a week for the full package. Receiving £6 million in damages doesn’t stop the benefits, you don’t have to give them back because you don’t need them any more.
If your child does not survive until adulthood, that £6 million will be handed over to you. The customer. You don’t have to give it back because you don’t need it any longer. In fact if your child does survive until 18 but is not considered mentally competent to make a will leaving all ‘his’ £6 million to you, then a special court will make that Will for him, so determined is the system that you should get your money.
Even without the need for entire life care, you can expect to receive between £250,000 to £450,000 if the NHS manages to damage the bodywork of your child whilst you are being serviced. One law firm is currently handling more than 90 cases of just one type of injury that can be caused by an over zealous midwife. A duff arm – I have one myself, I have managed to get through my entire life with it without suing anybody!
Its never too late to sign up for this amazing scheme:
A man who suffered brain damage at birth 37 years ago today settled his medical negligence claim for a compensation package which could be worth more than £5 million.
Last year the NHS paid out more than £35 million in legal fees to keep this lottery on the road – Irwin Mitchell’s in Sheffield alone accounted for £11 million of that. One in four NHS trusts paid out more in legal costs than in compensation. In some cases the legal costs have been 10 times greater than the damages paid out.
When you add the legal fees to the actual damages paid, you are into stratospheric figures. Just in Wales, the NHS is facing potential claims of up to £500 million, in England it is around £700 million.
If you can’t pin the blame on anyone, then you have to fall back on the old system of blaming it on God and getting on with your life with just the Benefits system to help out with essentials costs.
Your average medium sized hospital costs around £200 million a year to run, so we are talking about the running costs of SIX hospitals here.
Just for being able to pin the blame on someone – becasue nothing is ever going to change the disability.