Navigating Paediatric Medical Negligence | A Guide for Parents

Parenthood is a joyous thing, but simultaneously a grave responsibility. Protecting your child from harm is a profound instinctual drive, but not always possible. Sometimes, your family can be failed by the very systems designed to protect them – a nightmare for parents.

Discovering that your child has been seriously affected by medical negligence is something that no parent should ever have to endure. And yet it is something that a regrettably large number do each year, with regular large payouts from NHS Resolution concerning negligent care afforded to children. If you are unfortunate enough to be such a parent, you might be looking to take the right steps to protect your child’s rights and well-being. What should you do?

Assess the Situation

Before taking any specific or direct actions, it is first vital to assess the situation as it stands and gather relevant information about your child’s condition. Key signifiers of medical negligence include limited improvement, worsening health and unexpected medical complications. If your paediatric practitioner has been dragging their feet in diagnosing your child, this too could be a form of medical negligence. 

However, you should be cautious about making direct accusations. First, consider consulting with other medical professionals for a second opinion; this can provide valuable insights into your child’s condition, and help determine if medical negligence has indeed played a role.

Document and Preserve Evidence

From the moment you suspect medical negligence, your job becomes to document everything related to your child’s treatment. You should request copies of any medical records and test results, and ensure you have all available information on existing prescriptions or treatment pathways. Where visible injuries are present, be sure to take timestamped photographs. All of this will be crucial in building your case and establishing a clear timeline of events.

Engage Professional Legal Support

Navigating a medical negligence case requires specialised legal expertise, that you are not equipped to research alone. You will need to engage the services of a solicitor with experience in handling paediatric cases; they can guide you through the legal process, assess the strength of your case, and act on your behalf in communicating with NHS Resolution – and the courts – to negotiate for fair compensation on behalf of your child.

Seek Emotional and Practical Support

While all this is going on, it can be easy to forget the impact of such events on you. Dealing with a medical negligence case and its aftermath can be utterly draining, with profound impacts on you as a parent and individually. 

Either way, it is vitally important that you seek support from family, friends, and engaged support groups; together, they can provide emotional and practical assistance during one of the most challenging times you will ever face. Whether offering guidance, lending a listening ear, or picking up the housework while you work to get compensation and justice for your child, this support can be life-saving.


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