The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has warned that there are too many poor quality investigations into babies who die or are severely brain damaged during labour. In its preliminary report into how problems during labour are investigated the review identified that more than 900 cases have been referred to the programme and of the 204 investigations reviewed, 27% were found to be of poor quality.
The review has also been looking at the number of cases where parents have been involved in the investigations – nearly three-quarters of the 599 reviewed did not involve them in any meaningful way.
The inquiry, Each Baby Counts, has been set up to ensure lessons are learned when something goes wrong. The aim is by 2020 to halve the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled.
Out of 800,000 births after at least 37 weeks of pregnancy, in the UK in 2015, there were:
- 655 babies classified as having severe brain injuries
- 147 neonatal deaths (within seven days of birth)
- 119 stillbirths
In all cases, the babies had been healthy before labour began.
The report says all investigations should be robust, comprehensive and led by multi-disciplinary teams, including external experts and parents.
Adam Hodson, Associate Solicitor at Medical Accident Group, said: “The figures are shocking. The birth of a child is meant to be one of the most joyful events that people go through. However, what this Enquiry shows is that too many families are being left devastated as a result of errors by doctors during childbirth. The NHS must learn from these completely avoidable mistakes and ensure that no baby is left brain-injured or killed through the actions of negligent doctors.”
If inadequate medical care has affected you, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors, with over 30 years’ experience, who will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668.