Brain injuries at birth

Have you recently had a baby at an NHS trust hospital and are worried that your baby suffered harm during the birth? In particular, immediately following their birth was your baby therapeutically cooled? Did they experience seizures (fitting)? Have you been told that your baby experienced a lack of oxygen to their brain (hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE))? You may have been told that there is a risk your baby has a brain injury? An investigation into the treatment you received may already be underway.

You may qualify for an investigation under NHS Resolution’s Early Notification Scheme (ENS) or a maternity investigation by the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Special Health Authority (MNSI). These investigations may already have started.

Early notification scheme (ENS): The ENS scheme only applies in specific circumstances where your baby was born at an NHS hospital on or after 1st April 2017 and is suspected to have a potentially serious brain injury which was recognised in the first week of their life.

Read our guide for more details on ENS birth investigations.

Maternity investigations by MNSI*: MNSI is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and hosted by the Care Quality Commission but is an independent, investigative body within that. MNSI have a specific investigation programme for maternity related issues.

*We can also assist with cases which were dealt with under an HSIB Maternity Investigation which has been replaced by MNSI.

Read our guide for more details on MNSI birth investigations.

If any of this sounds familiar then this will be a difficult and confusing time for you, AvMA can help. Our guides contain lots of information to assist you but you can also talk to one of our professional, friendly and approachable caseworkers by completing an ENS/MNSI new client form. A caseworker will contact you within TWO working days of receipt of your completed form .

  • AvMA’s advice and information services are available to the public free of charge or obligation
  • Our caseworkers are all employed by AvMA and are qualified doctors and/or lawyers. They will provide you with independent, impartial advice about your options and rights
  • Your enquiry will be treated in confidence
  • You will be treated with respect

IMPORTANT: If you have concerns about possible maternal or birth related injuries that DO NOT involve your baby acquiring a brain injury at birth, for example, a maternal injury such as a serious tear or failure to diagnose low blood sugar in the new born (neonatal hypoglycaemia) then please complete our standard new client form

Independent Maternity Review at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust: If you or a loved one have been treated at the maternity unit at Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust in the last few years, you may be aware that there have been serious concerns over some of the care provided by the hospital in recent years. In response to those concerns the government has appointed Donna Ockenden as Chair of an independent review of those maternity services. More information on the Review can be found here.

The Review has been set up and is funded by the government, it is not connected to Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) although we have been notified by the Independent Review that they will presume that anyone who meets their criteria for inclusion into the review will not object to the review body contacting them. We understand that the review body sent letters to people who met the review criteria on 25th September 2023. The Review Body will have accessed your details from records held by the hospital, AvMA has not and will not provide any of your personal details to the Review Body.

If you have received a letter from the Independent Maternity Review team and do NOT wish to be involved, then you can email or telephone them and ask them NOT to contact you again.

The contact details for the independent review team are: or telephone them on: 01243 786993.

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