As of today, 6th July 2021, the Health and Social Care Committee (a select committee of the House of Commons) has issued a report which looks into how improvements can be made to England’s maternity services.
In many cases, the maternity services in England (including those in Nottingham) have been rated as “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and it has now become necessary for the government to step in as improvements are not being made quickly enough to save babies and families from tragedy.
The report centres around poor staffing levels within the maternity services, as well as the culture which seems to be forcing staff to act defensively, rather than allowing them to acknowledge feedback and learn lessons to prevent future harm.
Chief Inspector of Hospitals’ CQC, Professor Ted Baker, has stated in the report that, “38% of our [CQC] current rating for maternity services are that they require improvement for safety. This is a significant number, and larger than in any other speciality”, and includes the services at Nottingham University Hospitals.
Experts in maternity and patient safety, such as Professor Dame Jane Dacre and Sir Robert Francis QC, have also noted that the premature birth rate and the number of maternal deaths are still a significant concern.
There has been a great deal of publicity surrounding the issues with maternity services in Morecambe Bay, Shrewsbury and Telford, and East Kent, but these problems seem to be extending across England, with serious concerns now having been raised in relation to the services in Nottingham.
Further to the concerns of the CQC in December 2020, which rated Nottingham’s maternity services as inadequate, we have seen an increasing number of women who are contacting us with concerns over care they have received during their pregnancies and birth, particularly in relation to the maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
It is hoped that this review, and the funding which is being put in place, will improve these services and provide families with the comfort they deserve.
As clinical negligence lawyers we represent families and children who have suffered or have lost loved ones as a result of failures in medical care during labour and birth. These claims seek to ensure that any child who has suffered a preventable injury can access the services they require such as care, therapy and equipment that may assist them during their lives. We can also help secure an apology from the Trust responsible and seek to ensure that the same mistakes are not made again.
If you or a loved one have similar concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, confidential discussion.
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around 1,000 more babies would live every year if our maternity services were as safe as Sweden