It has been reported that midwives and nurses on maternity wards have recorded 305,019 errors in the last three years, ranging from lost records and minor injuries during birth to the avoidable deaths of mothers and babies. Statistics show that at least 259 women and babies died between 2013 and 2016 due to avoidable reasons, although the figure is likely to be far higher as a third of NHS hospitals failed to provide data.
Midwives say mistakes are on the rise due to understaffed units and cuts in funding, at a time when they are meeting the challenges of a rising birth rate and complex labours as a result of a higher number of older and obese women giving birth.
Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: ‘The simple truth is we do not have enough midwives right now, we are also seeing more leaving the profession because of stress and a slight reduction in the number of student midwives training. We can’t deliver the safest possible care if we don’t have enough midwives and doctors working here.’ A spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: ‘We must make maternity services safe for women and their newborns. This requires maternity units to be adequately resourced, and should be an urgent priority for the NHS”
Last week it was revealed that Shrewsbury & Telford NHS Trust has paid out millions in compensation over a cluster of babies born with brain damage.
If you, or a loved one, have been affected by medical negligence, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers who will be happy to speak to you about whether it may be possible to bring a claim.