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Hospitals failing to meet promise of safe maternity unit

doctor talking to female patient

According to recent reports, a number of NHS hospitals that said they had a safe maternity unit have had their claims reportedly proven wrong. Upon review, it was reportedly judged that seven trusts conducted false self-assessments of their maternity services, and they may now have to repay millions of pounds to regulators, according to The Independent. In reality, a number of babies may have tragically died as a result of poor care.

The news comes not long after an inquiry into the reported ‘systemic racism’ of NHS maternity services was launched, suggesting that wider failings are at play. Some 14 NHS trusts are understood to have reportedly failed to meet at least one safety action to be implemented, meaning concerns over maternity care continues to be a widespread issue across the health service.

Those affected by failings in relation to maternity matters may be able to bring claims on the basis of medical negligence if it has occurred. It is unacceptable that many mothers and infants may have been harmed as a result of negligent practices, which is why we are encouraging anyone who has been affected to contact us for advice.

Systemic failings – false claims of a safe maternity unit

Each NHS trust that reportedly wrongfully claimed it had a safe maternity unit is now being forced to pay out money to regulators, amounting to £8.5m between all seven trusts, it is understood. For those who have suffered the adverse impact of any failings, including families who have suffered the loss of an infant, the fines only give weight to the accusations they have previously made against hospitals.

An incentive scheme for maternity care was launched in 2018 to consider safety in maternity, and since then, a number of trusts have reportedly been forced to pay back money. For example, Shrewsbury and Telford Trust was understood to have been assigned an amount of £953,000 after it was found that over 50 mothers and babies had died due to poor care.

NHS Resolution, which founded the scheme, said in a statement that it recognised that further action was needed in relation to the false submissions made by trusts.

Making a claim for poor maternity care

Every parent has a right to give birth in a safe maternity unit, so it is regretful that so many may have been let down due to hospitals failing to appropriately review their own practices. In some cases, the victims who have been harmed as a result of these failings may be able to bring medical negligence claims. Whether you or your baby received an incorrect diagnosis, were administered incorrect treatment, or gave birth under dangerous conditions due to errors made by doctors, there may be a claim to make.

14 trusts reportedly failed to meet safety standards, and there may be more problematic maternity units, but those which have been subjected to scrutiny so far are understood to include:

  • Nottingham University Hospitals Trust;
  • North West Anglia Foundation Trust;
  • West Suffolk Foundation Trust;
  • Shrewsbury and Telford Trust;
  • East Kent Hospitals University Trust;
  • University Hospitals Birmingham;
  • Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.

If you were harmed at any of the above trusts’ hospitals, or at any others, do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

Start your claim today

Of the many negligence claims brought against the NHS in 2018-19, 60% are understood to have involved maternity care. This alarming figure shows just how much needs to be done to ensure each and every hospital has a safe maternity unit.

By making a claim, you can ensure that your suffering does not go unnoticed. To find out more about the process and your potential compensation pay-out, contact us today or register your details for a call-back.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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