Posted by Paul Rumley, Partner
New report shows widespread problems with maternity care in the UK
Paul Rumley comments on a report released today by Each Baby Counts, which has found that nearly half of reviewed cases, where babies died or suffered brain damage, were caused by bad maternity care.
As medical negligence solicitors, we often see cases where things go wrong. However, the report released today by Each Baby Counts which has found that, in almost half of reviewed cases of death of brain damage, babies received widespread substandard care in our hospitals is simply astounding. Where enough information was available, they even concluded that 71% of births might have had a different outcome if different care was provided.
This represents 1,123 devastated families and their wider communities. 854 severely brain damaged children represents a huge drain upon NHS and wider social care resources, once you take into account the strain upon a family of looking after a disabled child and the higher rate of parental relationship breakdown which goes with that. And yet, we know we have a problem and so the hope and the opportunity is to do something about it to stop any more families having to go through this terrible experience. We have a good NHS, which is well-funded by the taxpayer – it now needs to work to ensure patient safety at each and every turn.
Sensibly, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) – who commissioned the report under the Each Baby Counts initiative – have called for a UK national centre of excellence for maternity care; their aim being to make the UK “the safest place in the world to have a baby”. However, in a recent article for O&G Magazine, they acknowledge that currently midwives are “under pressure, but undoubtedly need more resources.”
We will be interested to see whether in future years these changes are implemented, and we hope that this change helps improve outcomes for babies and parents as Each Baby Counts works towards their aim of halving the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled by 2020.
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