Attwaters gives the low down on recent reports of failings in maternity care, which can result in Birth injury and baby loss.

Birth injury and baby loss: The maternity Care Crisis  

A Story of Ongoing Issues in England’s Healthcare System

Are you aware that England’s maternity units are currently facing significant safety concerns? Recent reports from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), England’s healthcare regulator, have revealed distressing statistics.

According to BBC analysis of CQC records, a staggering two-thirds (67%) of maternity units were deemed not safe enough. This is a significant increase from the 55% reported just last year. Above all this decline in safety standards comes despite efforts to enhance NHS maternity care. It is however, partly attributed to a shortage of midwives.

The government has acknowledged the critical importance of maternity care and has committed £165 million annually to bolster the maternity workforce. However, the Department for Health and Social Care recognises that more action is necessary to address these alarming safety issues.

The most concerning aspect is the rise in the number of maternity units labelled as “inadequate,”. Above all this indicates a high risk of avoidable harm to both mother and baby. This category has more than doubled from 7% to 15% since September 2022. At Attwaters Accidents we know all too well the trauma experienced by families who suffer the consequences of birth injury and baby loss.

The CQC has expressed its disappointment at this situation, deeming it unacceptable. Kate Terroni, the CQC’s deputy chief executive, emphasised the urgent need for immediate action. It’s imperative in order to ensure women receive high-quality care in maternity settings across England.

One heartbreaking story that illustrates the dire consequences of these issues is that of Rachel Tustain and her daughter Eve. Their story has been reported recently by the BBC. Eve suffered a brain bleed due to the incorrect use of forceps during her birth at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, in 2016. Tragically, Eve passed away last year at the age of five.

Rachel Tustain has spoken out about the under-resourcing and underfunding of maternity services. She believes it is contributing to these safety problems. This highlights the urgent need for proper funding and attention to make maternity care a top priority within the NHS.

The Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust admitted liability for the poor care that Rachel and Eve received. However, it has since made significant changes to its maternity services.

This distressing situation arises despite multiple efforts to transform maternity care, including initiatives launched by the NHS following inquiries into past failures that resulted in baby deaths at various NHS trusts.

In 2019, the NHS aimed to reduce fatalities by 50% by 2025, although there have been decreases in maternal deaths, neonatal deaths, and stillbirths over the past decade. However, it seems unlikely that this target is going to be met.

It’s crucial to recognise that Rachel and Eve’s story is just one of many. Above all this highlights the ongoing issues within maternity care in England. If you or someone you know has experienced similar problems during childbirth, legal support may be available. Attwaters Accidents are prepared to assist in winning claims for compensation, ensuring justice for those affected by inadequate maternity care.

It’s essential to raise awareness of these challenges and advocate for the necessary changes to ensure the safety and well-being of mothers and babies in maternity units across England.

Attwaters Accidents is the Medical Negligence department of the Trusted, long-established firm Attwaters Jameson Hill.

Attwaters Jameson Hill has fully-staffed offices in Hertford, Ware and Loughton, and operates via office hubs in London and Harlow, where clients can arrange scheduled appointments. We represent clients throughout Essex, Hertfordshire, Outer London and further afield. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No. 665492 (London), 51886 (Hertford), 51887 (Ware), 569746 (Loughton), 569747 (Harlow). VAT Reg No. 246 1485 59



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