More people to get free Family Mediation from November 2014

Victoria Syvret has been one of the few mediators in Wirral who has been able to offer free Mediation for eligible people under Legal Aid.

From 3rd November the Government has announced that the initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) will now be free for both parties even if only one of them is financially eligible for Legal Aid.

This welcome change will allow more people to access Mediation services for their family issues as the government will fund the second person to meet with the Mediator under their Legal Aid contract.

This is especially important as from April 2014 any person wishing to make a Court application relating to a child or financial matters must have been for an initial MIAM meeting with an accredited mediator to find out about Mediation services.

Victoria Syvret comments

“The breakdown of a relationship can often be painful. Many of us find it difficult to discuss emotive issues such as arrangements for our children or financial concerns. Family Mediation is a positive way to resolve issues arising from relationship breakdown by utilising the skills of a trained third party to help guide you through. I am already a strong believer in the benefits of mediation and I have been able to help many separated couples create arrangements that work for their families. When considering what action to take, cost is often an issue, but now with the benefit of being able to offer free MIAMs meetings to more people, I hope to be able to reach many more broken down families to discuss Mediation as an option to resolve their issues.”

Family Mediation is a positive way to resolve issues arising from relationship breakdown. The kind of issues you might need to discuss includes:

  • looking after your children
  • what will happen to your home
  • sharing your money and other assets
  • financial support

Mediation allows you to keep control of the decisions affecting your family and can achieve the most amicable way of settling a dispute following a family breakdown.

For more information about Mediation at Burd Ward please contact Victoria Syvret today on 0151 639 8273

Death of local mother after giving birth to still born son

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, also known as Arrowe Park Hospital, have agreed a 5 figure settlement with Family of woman who died after giving birth to a still born son.

It was reported in the daily news today that Carly Harper, from Westkirby, Wirral, was admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital in May 2012 when she was 24 weeks pregnant, after her waters broke and her contractions started. Carly was pregnant with her first child and was only 26 yrs of age.

Carly advised the staff at the Hospital that she was in pain and after an Ultrasound it was discovered that her unborn son was dying so the Doctors induced birth. Carly did not give birth until 6 hours after the scan, when she gave birth to a still born son.

Carly was taken into intensive care and placed on a Ventilator but died the following day of multiple organ failure.

Carly’s family held Arrowe Park Hospital for their daughter’s death, claiming that the Hospital staff delayed inducing her labour and they did not act quickly enough on signs she had sepsis, a severe infection.

The Hospital trust produced a Serious Incident Review Report, which recognised a number of failings in the care that was provided to Carly. One of those failings was the failure of the obstetric team to respond with sufficient urgency to the seriousness of her condition.

The trust admitted that “there was a delay in delivering the deceased’s foetus and in administering the second antibiotic as per Trust policy”. But the Trust did not accept that their failings contributed to and/or caused Carly’s death.

It will be interesting to see what Coroner David Lewis determines to have been the cause of Carly’s death when the inquest is held in the near future. The inquest is expected to take 3 days and he will hear evidence from clinicians that were responsible for Miss Harper’s care.

If you or someone you know has suffered medical negligence then get in touch with Alisha Butler-Ward at Burd Ward Solicitors* on 0151 639 8273 or by email on

Choosing a Solicitor is vital in multiple or serious injury claims

The Daily Mail Online reported this week that Paul Vallance has received £4 million in compensation after a head-on car crash that left him too angry to work.

Paul did not seek legal advice from the outset and it was only when Paul’s mum sought legal advice that the true extent of his injuries became apparent.

From the report it would seem that Paul Vallance had an undiagnosed “serious” brain injury. Despite 19 days in Hospital and classic signs of brain injury, such as amnesia confusion and losing the ability to speak, together with aggression, loss of self-control and inappropriate behaviour. No-one is suggesting any fault by the Hospital who treated Paul and I assume that his injury was diagnosed as “a mild injury” because Paul, like many others nowadays, dealt with the insurers direct, initially. It would seem to me that the insurers misdiagnosed Paul injuries, whether this was due to the inexperience of the file handler or a “rush” to settle the claim for the least amount of compensation.

I have seen this happen before and it is happening more often.

Only experienced Solicitors can ensure that the treatment and rehabilitation that is provided is in the best interests of the client. The insurance companies are just that – companies! They all have profits to make and paying out for serious injuries impacts on those profit margins, as does providing a victim with adequate care and rehabilitation.

I only worry how many other people there are out there that accepted the help and compensation from the insurers, when the true extent of their injuries were not fully investigated.

My recommendation – get in touch with a Solicitor every time you are involved in an accident, just in case!

Written by Mrs Alisha Butler-Ward Catastrophic Injury Solicitor