Birth injury claims expert, Janet Baker, delivers lecture at Sheffield Hallam University


July 19, 2017 | By Marketing Team |

July 19, 2017 | By Marketing Team |

Head of Clinical Negligence at Switalskis’ Sheffield office, Janet Baker, has recently delivered a lecture on ‘Midwives and the law’ to 50 final year student midwives at Sheffield Hallam University.

With 50% of the NHS’s £1 billion damages pay-outs during 2016 attributable to maternity claims, there are few midwives who will not witness or be touched by the law at some point during their career.

On her involvement as guest lecturer at the University, Janet said: “If, through my lecture to the midwives of the future, I can help prevent the pain, suffering and even the loss of child I will be extremely happy.”

Janet is one of the UK’s leading clinical negligence lawyers having just secured the largest ever damages settlement in a birth injury case.

Janet explained to students how they might come into contact with the law during their career as a midwife – from disciplinary proceedings for breach of the NMC Code, to the involvement in civil claims for damages arising out of negligent care of a mother or baby.

She highlighted the different common claims involving babies and mothers. Drawing on her vast experience of birth injury claims, she explained why many of the claims arise in the first place. These included staffing issues and shortages, as well as failure to recognise when there is a problem.

Touchingly, Janet spoke about several of her own cases (for which she’d secured prior client approval to discuss) which highlighted the rapid speed at which many of the incidents progress, as well as the distressing consequences of failing to take appropriate action quickly enough.

Joanna Andrews, a former practising midwife turned Midwifery Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University said: “It was a privilege for our students to hear from Janet and learn how sometimes, despite a midwife’s best intentions, things can go horribly wrong. This was the final lecture of our students’ course, but Janet left them empowered to ask for help and escalate concerns, and not be afraid to challenge decisions made to safeguard their patients.”

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