Maternity units are failing to reach required standards

22nd May 2017

Maternity units are failing to reach required standards

The NHS was created to provide care from the cradle to the grave – but it seems the health service’s founding principle is slowly being eroded.

According to new figures, maternity units in hospitals up and down the country are failing to reach required standards, with only two per cent graded outstanding for safety and only half rated good.

It’s a statistic that will strike fear into any expectant parent.

Of all the services the NHS provides, it’s reasonable to expect the very highest quality of neonatal care, because the consequences of avoidable errors here can have lifelong implications.

Maternity staff are recording an average of 1,400 mistakes in hospitals each week, resulting in harm, injury or death to new-borns and mothers. Meanwhile, birth injury claims against the NHS are so costly that they amounted to £3billion between 2000 and 2010.

Behind every frightening statistic is a human story. Michelle and James Martin-Whymark’s daughter Summer died just two days after being born at Colchester Hospital in 2012. Their distress was compounded by the fact the tragedy could have been avoided.

“Their poor management, their poor decision making, ultimately decided the fate of our daughter on that evening,” said Mrs Martin-Whymark.

Tragedies like this prompted the government to launch a national maternity review, which concluded that radical changes – including more low risk births at home – were required.

The Department of Health says plans are in place to halve rates of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies by 2030 – an important target but one that will do little to quell the concerns of expectant parents in the short-term.

How can Gotelee help?

There can be no deeper pain for a parent than the sudden loss of a child. The unimaginable grief can leave emotional scars that may never fully heal.

Gotelee has represented a number of parents who have been failed by the system and who deserve the right to seek damages. We pride ourselves on offering a compassionate and sensitive service.

By making a claim, you could receive the necessary financial help to deal with the consequences of an error, as well as helping to ensure the same mistake isn’t repeated.

Our team of Suffolk specialist medical negligence lawyers are experts in ensuring that our clients receive the right compensation.

To find out how we can help you, contact Tim Humpage on 01473 298122 or email We also have offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge or Melton.

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Practice Areas
Medical Negligence
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