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In the recent case of CXB -v-North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, [2019] EWHC 2053 (QB), the Court found that clinical records should not necessarily be preferred over witness evidence, however did ultimately find that in this particular case, there was not sufficient material to find that the clinical record was unreliable or incorrect.

This was a matter where the Claimant brought a claim for damages for injury at birth. The issue at hand was focused around whether the Claimant's mother had asked for delivery by elective caesarean section or "C-section". The Claimant's mother's claimed that she had expressed that she had elected C-section, however, the Defendant contended that she had made no such election. If the C-section had taken place, then the birth injury would have been avoided. The case therefore focused on a medical note made of a consultation while the Claimant's mother was pregnant.

The Defendant's argued that the Court should prefer the reliability of clinical notes and records which are contemporaneous, as opposed to witness evidence, which is (and it is widely accepted) subject to the unreliability of human memory.

The Court did ultimately reject the Claimant's witness evidence however because they were not entirely consistent and had changed over time. However, this judgment is noteworthy in that it weakens existing guidance in favour of simply preferring what is written within records over other evidence. Contemporaneous records such as diary entries or complaints will still carry weight. Our Clinical Negligence team has a wealth of experience in handling complex negligence claims and while it is always preferable that injuries are avoided, when negligence occurs,

Ramsdens Solicitors have a dedicated Personal Injury team who are passionate about seeking care and fair compensation for all their clients. To find out if you can make a claim, call us on 0800 804 450 or text CLAIMS to 80988. Alternatively, fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time that is suitable for you.