Multiple pregnancies are high risk and sometimes things go wrong. It may be unavoidable and nothing could have been done to change what happened to you or your babies. However, at other times, mistakes are made or there are actions that could have been taken to improve the outcome of the pregnancy.

Where errors do occur, it is often a system rather than an individual at fault. If you feel that the care you received was substandard it is important that you make a complaint. By doing so you are helping to ensure that failures are addressed so that mistakes are not repeated.

Twins Trust cannot provide you with direct legal advice or support, however the information on this page can help you take your initial steps towards making a complaint or taking legal action. We would advise seeking professional legal help should you wish to take legal action.


Making a complaint

If you feel that the care you received during your pregnancy and/or delivery was not as it should have been, you are entitled to make a complaint. All hospitals have a complaints procedure and you can find more information about this on the NHS website. You may find it useful the speak to someone who understands the complaints process first to get some guidance and support. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is a free, confidential and independent service that is available at most hospitals. You can speak to a PALS member, who will try to resolve issues with the hospital before the need to make a formal complaint. You can also seek advice from third parties such as Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) at any point.

If making a formal complaint, address your letter directly to the Chief Executive of the Hospital or Trust/Board. To be most effective, in your letter:

  • Include details of what happened and when plus the names and positions of those involved
  • Explain why you are unhappy
  • List the specific questions you would like answered
  • Describe what you want to happen as a result of your complaint (e.g. an apology, an explanation, a specific action, etc)
  • Ask for a full investigation to be carried out
  • Request a copy of any Untoward Serious Incident Report or Root Cause Analysis Report.
  • Ask for a response in accordance with the NHS Complaints Procedure

You should receive an acknowledgement within a week, with a timeline of when you can expect a response. If the response is delayed for any reason, you should be kept informed.


A cropped photo showing a woman holding her belly whilst pregnant


Taking legal action

If you feel that the treatment you received was negligent, resulting in injury or harm to you or your babies, or the loss of one or more of your babies, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Legal action may result in a financial settlement to compensate for that damage. This can help secure appropriate care and support for babies left with permanent life-long disability. It is important to understand that a successful medical negligence claim won't necessarily result in an apology, a change in medical policy or the health professional being disciplined.

To pursue a legal claim successfully, the two points below need to be applicable:

  • The medical treatment provided fell well below an acceptable and reasonable standard, and
  • The harm or loss caused was as a direct result of that negligence or was materially contributed to by the negligence.


Choosing a law firm

Pursuing a medical negligence claim can be a stressful experience for parents. It can be complicated and you will need to go over what happened multiple times. In addition, it can be expensive and time-consuming with many cases taking years to complete. However, if the hospital readily accepts that mistakes were made then cases can be concluded quickly.

It is essential to consult with an expert lawyer if you're planning to make a medical negligence claim. When choosing a firm, it's important to consider where they are based, their experience and expertise and make sure that they are accredited by one of the three key medical negligence panels, APIL, AvMA or the Law Society. However, it's also important to make sure that you have a good relationship with them. You will be spending a lot of time with your lawyer so it's important that you're comfortable with them and have confidence in how they will interact with you and your case.

Before contacting a law firm get together as much information as you can. You should be offered a free initial consultation where they'll make a preliminary assessment of your case and decide whether it is strong enough to proceed. They will also be able to advise you on the funding options available to you and your family to ensure that there is no financial risk to you.


Twins Trust legal partners

All of our Legal partners hold accreditation with the Law Society, AvMA and/or APIL, and have had many successful outcomes with medical negligence cases, including those with multiple births. We recommend that you contact two or more lawyers for an initial consultation before choosing a firm to represent you. Please note that:

  • We do not receive any referral fees from the law firms on our site.
  • The contact you have with a law firm is confidential between you and them. Twins Trust is not involved in the process and will not be made aware of any contact you have with any of our legal panel.