Three-quarters of babies who die or are brain damaged during childbirth in the UK could be saved with better medical care, an inquiry has concluded.
The Each Baby Counts inquiry, conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, found that failure to recognise when a baby is in danger was partly to blame for the volume of deaths and injuries. A lack of continuous heart rate monitoring during labour, as well as over-worked staff, were cited in the investigation.
The report investigated 1,136 cases of babies born in the UK in 2015 who either suffered brain damage during birth, or died during delivery or in the next week. It follows a string of scandals over substandard care at UK hospitals.
“Although the UK remains one of the safest places to give birth, serious incidents do occur, some of which could be prevented if different care were given,” says the report.
In many of the cases that were reviewed, problems with accurate assessment of foetal wellbeing during labour and consistent issues with staff understanding and processing of complex situations, including interpreting baby heart-rate patterns, were cited as significant factors.
Janet Scott, from the stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands, said the report findings were deeply concerning.
“We urge trusts, health boards and governments across the UK to ensure the levels of support and resourcing needed to bring this about urgently,” she told the BBC.
In October 2016, the government launched a Maternity Safety Action Plan to provide resources for trusts to improve their approach to maternity safety, including an £8m fund for maternity safety training.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “While maternal and neonatal deaths are falling, together we need to do even more to make sure fewer families suffer the heartache of losing a baby – and this vital work will help.”
How can Gotelee help?
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.
Gotelee has represented a number of parents who have been failed by the health service and who deserve the right to seek compensation so they can provide for their child’s lifelong needs.
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 securing the right compensation for our clients. We pride ourselves on offering a compassionate and sensitive service.