Early Notification Scheme

Early Notification Scheme

For finding answers and getting justice

If your child has been left with a severe brain injury due to the circumstances of their birth, the impact on your family can be devastating. That's why the NHS has established an Early Notification Scheme: to provide a way forward for families in this difficult situation.

The NHS Early Notification Scheme was created to give families affected by birth injury a quicker route to receiving the financial compensation and support their child deserves. However, navigating the processes involved with the Early Notification Scheme might seem daunting without expert guidance.

That's where Switalskis comes in. As specialists in medical negligence claims, we offer compassionate, personalised support to guide you through the Early Notification Scheme. Our dedicated team will help you understand the process, make sure your rights are protected, and offer legal expertise tailored to your situation.

Whether you've just been contacted via Early Notification or are already midway through the process, we're here to make things clearer, simpler and more manageable for you and your family.

Seek independent legal advice from Switalskis today by calling us on 0800 1380 458, or contacting us through our website

How Switalskis can help you

Navigating the Early Notification Scheme can seem complex and overwhelming, especially at a time when your focus is on the wellbeing of your child. At Switalskis, we're dedicated to making this process as smooth as possible for you, by offering clear guidance and expert legal support for your specific situation.

Here's how Switalskis can assist you:

  • We'll arrange a free, no-obligation consultation to understand your circumstances, explain the Early Notification Scheme, answer your questions and help you find out the best way forward.
  • We'll provide independent legal advice to help you navigate the different stages of the scheme, explaining what you'll need to do and how to find out whether you're eligible.
  • We'll help you understand and access the financial support available. This support can be vital in managing the medical and care needs of your child.
  • We'll investigate the full impact and consequences of your child's brain injuries. Our team works closely with medical experts to make sure that all aspects of your claim are accurately represented.
  • We can work out the overall value of the claim and assist with negotiations to make sure you get the best outcome.
  • If the Early Notification Scheme rejects your claim because it does not fall into the right category, we'll help you bring a birth injury claim. We'll explore all available options, to make sure that every possible avenue for justice and support is considered.

With years of experience in handling all types of birth injury claims, we've built a reputation for excellence in this field. Our team includes legal experts accredited by the Law Society and AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents) , which demonstrates our industry-leading expertise.

We recognise that dealing with a serious injury at birth is devastating and that navigating complicated legal processes might seem overwhelming at this time. That's why Switalskis' approach is not just legal; it's deeply compassionate. We know your family is facing a tough time, so we'll be right here, offering our unwavering support.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

What is the Early Notification Scheme?

The NHS Resolution Early Notification Scheme is a programme designed to investigate and address serious brain injuries that happen at birth. It's a vital component in providing immediate assistance to families affected by failures in maternity care and can be a quicker route to compensation than making a traditional birth injury claim.

The scheme aims is to make sure that the NHS can investigate serious birth injuries as quickly as possible. In this way, the service can provide much-needed answers, written apologies, financial support and practical advice to the families involved. Here's how the scheme works:

  • All NHS trusts, hospitals and medical centres must report to their legal departments all birth incidents that could lead to a child's brain injury.
  • The legal department then must report the incident to NHS Resolution, the organisation responsible for resolving concerns and disputes about NHS care quality, within 30 days of the birth.
  • An investigation will begin within 30 days of the birth. This internal process is designed to be much faster than external investigations, enabling a quicker resolution.
  • If the investigation concludes that the brain injury was caused by negligent maternity care, the NHS will provide a formal apology and financial support to the affected family as well as any assistance they might need to access support for their injured child.

In some cases, the conditions investigated by the Early Notification Scheme may lead to other long-term health issues, such as cerebral palsy, one of the most common birth injuries. All of these potential outcomes will be evaluated as part of a thorough approach.

The NHS Resolution Early Notification Scheme represents a commitment to transparency, accountability and support for families facing the traumatic experience of a serious brain injury at birth. For many, it will provide an essential means of understanding what happened and how to move forward.

What are the benefits of using the Early Notification Scheme?

The Early Notification Scheme offers a structured approach to dealing with serious birth injuries, particularly those resulting in brain injury. According to NHS Resolution, it's designed to deliver the following benefits:

  • Helping to reduce legal costs for families and the NHS, while improving the overall experience for the family and affected staff
  • Making sure that the right lessons are learned and shared within the individual trust and the wider system, in order to support safety improvement and prevent similar incidents from happening again
  • Making sure the NHS is honouring its commitments to saying sorry and being fair
  • Preserving evidence from the case, so that the NHS can respond quickly if the family chooses to bring a conventional birth injury claim at a later date
  • Delivering compensation for families as quickly as possible so that their immediate needs are met

Since the scheme’s launch in 2017, there has been a significant reduction in the amount of time between maternity incidents happening and cases being notified to NHS Resolution. It's also shortened the time taken from the incident to the final claims decision, helping to bring down costs for the NHS. Additionally, trusts have been encouraged to be more open about these incidents with families, in order to help them learn.

You can find out more about the Early Notification Scheme and its purposes directly from NHS Resolution .

What are the criteria for making use of the Early Notification Scheme?

To be eligible for the Early Notification Scheme, your child must fit into one of the following three categories:

  • Babies with a diagnosis of Grade 3 hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition that results from the brain not getting enough oxygen and blood flow for a period of time, long enough to cause brain damage.
  • Babies who are therapeutically cooled through active cooling, a procedure designed to prevent/reduce the damaging effects of HIE by lowering the baby’s temperature to 33°C
  • Babies who are born with hypotonia, who are comatose or who have seizures at birth. Hypotonia is a condition marked by decreased muscle tone, meaning they can appear 'floppy' when they’re born

Many of these symptoms are associated with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

How will I know if my case is eligible for the Early Notification Scheme?

If your child's case is eligible for the Early Notification Scheme, you will be informed directly by NHS Resolution. This process will unfold as follows:

  • When medical staff identify a birth that potentially fits the scheme's criteria, they will report it to their trust's legal department.
  • Upon receiving the report, the hospital's legal department will assess the case. If it is eligible, they must report it to NHS Resolution within 30 days of the birth.
  • Once NHS Resolution receives the details of the birth and potential injury, they'll start their own investigation, and you'll be contacted with the full details of the scheme. You won't be automatically enrolled; instead, you'll receive an invitation to participate. If you choose to go ahead, the NHS will guide you through the investigation process and keep you informed about their progress and findings.
  • In some cases, a midwife, health visitor or another healthcare professional who's familiar with your child's condition might suggest that you explore this route if they feel your case is eligible. However, the formal invitation can only come from the NHS.

If you're ever uncertain about any of these steps, get in touch with Switalskis, and we can help advise you on the process.

Should I still seek legal advice if I'm using the Early Notification Scheme?

Even if you choose to take advantage of the Early Notification Scheme, it will still be helpful to seek independent legal advice for another independent perspective on the investigation process. Doing so will provide the following advantages:

  • An independent perspective: the Early Notification Scheme is an initiative by the NHS designed to provide swift resolutions. Having an independent expert on the case can be helpful in making sure your interests and rights are prioritised, and that all decisions are made from a fair and balanced point of view.
  • Simplifying the process: working with a legal professional who's familiar with the ins and outs of the scheme can help to make sure that you understand every step, know what to expect, and can make informed decisions throughout the process.
  • Maximising compensation and support: a specialist solicitor can check whether the compensation proposed is appropriate for your child's needs, both now and in the future, and make sure that nothing is overlooked.
  • Emotional support: birth injuries can be emotionally taxing. Having a legal team by your side means you're not only getting professional advice, but also emotional support. At Switalskis, our aim is to be at your side throughout the process and provide support, advice and reassurance.
  • Exploring alternate routes: if your case doesn't fit the criteria of the Early Notification Scheme, or if you're not satisfied with the outcome, a legal expert can guide you on other potential avenues for compensation, answers and explanations.

What can I do if I'm not eligible for the Early Notification Scheme?

While the Early Notification Scheme provides a streamlined process for many families, not every case will fit its criteria. If you find that your circumstances aren't eligible for the scheme, it's essential to know that you still have several options and avenues available for seeking justice and support.

Firstly, it's worth considering a traditional medical negligence claim. This route to a successful outcome allows for legal investigation of a broader range of birth injuries or other related complications. Switalskis can help you thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the birth of your child, evaluate medical records, and consult with medical experts to find out if you have grounds to claim compensation. Although this route may take longer than the Early Notification Scheme, it could allow you to claim a more comprehensive compensation package that takes into account the full impact on your child's life.

It may also be helpful to reach out to support groups and organisations specialising in birth injuries, who can provide emotional support, share experiences and offer guidance on navigating the complexities of your situation. These organisations can connect you with the right resources, from therapists to financial planning.

Contact us today and let's start your journey towards recovery together. Call us today on 0800 1380 458,or get in touch via our form.

Our Medical Negligence Specialists

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
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Why Switalskis?

Understanding the specifics of the Early Notification Scheme can be overwhelming, especially during what is already a hugely challenging period in your life. At Switalskis, we're here to shed light, provide clarity and offer expert and practical support.

Clarity in complexity

The ins and outs of the Early Notification Scheme might seem like a labyrinth, but with Switalskis, it becomes more straightforward. We're committed to translating legal jargon into plain, clear language. We'll address all of your questions, streamline the journey, and make sure you're always kept in the loop.

Empathy at every step

Each family, person and case is unique. We take the time to genuinely understand your personal circumstances. We'll lend an ear to your concerns, making sure our advice resonates with both your emotional and legal needs. To us, you're not just another case number - you're a family seeking justice, answers and help and we're by your side to offer unwavering support.

Expertise you can trust

With Switalskis, you can lean on a team with decades of experience and a proven track record in handling Early Notification Scheme processes and related medical negligence claims. That means you can always trust us to have the right answer to any questions you need to ask.

Championing your rights

Switalskis is dedicated to supporting your needs and your rights through this process. We'll help you find the right approach and the best possible outcome - whether that's through the Early Notification Scheme or another avenue.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If you've been invited to join the Early Notification Scheme by the NHS, let Switalskis be your trusted partner on this journey. We'll help you understand the process in full, offering expert guidance, backing and representation every step of the way.

Reach out to Switalskis today by calling 0800 1380 458 , or connect with us online. We'll arrange a free consultation to answer any questions you have about the NHS Resolution Early Notification Scheme.

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