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Mistakes during one in every five births during the past two years

maternity_.jpgPoor maternity care led to mistakes during one in five births over the past two years.

Hundreds of thousands of incidents were logged by hospital staff between April 2015 and March 2017, according to the BBC investigation.

Although the majority were minor incidents or near misses, there were 288 cases of a death during or as a result of the birth.

These included everything from delays receiving medication to babies being deprived of oxygen and life-threatening complications not being diagnosed.

Over 86% of the cases reported involved incidents which required no more than basic first aid.

Hannah Bottomley, clinical negligence solicitor at Potter Rees Dolan, said:

It is deeply worrying to read about the scale of maternity related injuries and deaths as highlighted in this recent investigation. Injuries to both mothers and babies can have devastating effects and even minor issues and injuries can cause major upset during what is meant to be a happy occasion.

I was most concerned to note that of the Trusts reported to have experienced a cluster of deaths, two were based here in the North West. The Central Manchester University Trust (now part of the Manchester University Trust) is responsible for the MRI, one of the city’s biggest hospitals and Pennine Acute Trust covers the four biggest hospitals to the North of the city.

Mothers and babies here in the North West deserve better and these statistics detailing avoidable injuries and deaths are hugely worrying.

Staff reported the incidents through the voluntary report scheme run by NHS Improvement where staff are encouraged to raise concerns.

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, said it was encouraging how hospitals were being honest by reporting incidents as they will help prevent repeat problems.

Gill Edwards recently posted a blog on reducing the still birth rate and amount of brain injuries in babies as a member of the Multi-Professional Advisory Panel of the mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline.

Hannah Bottomley is a clinical negligence solicitor here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about clinical negligence issues or indeed any other aspect of this article and wish to speak to Hannah or any other member of the team please contact us on 0161 237 5888 or email Hannah directly.