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Home » Latest News » Government to set up specialist body to investigate poor Maternity care

Government to set up specialist body to investigate poor Maternity care

Government to set up specialist body to investigate poor Maternity care

The Government has announced plans to set up a new body to look at why things can, and do, go wrong in maternity care, for both mother and baby.

The planned ‘Health Services Safety Investigations Body’ will take over the work currently carried out by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.

So, why is this happening?

Staff within the NHS work hard to provide very good care for members of the public however, sometimes, mistakes are made leading to patients suffering unexpected injuries and associated financial loss. Sometimes, sadly, those injuries can have catastrophic consequences, especially if it happens to a child at the time of birth.

If injuries are due to negligence then the person can receive compensation.

A new born baby who suffers a serious injury to their brain, as a result of negligence, and who is expected to live as long as a similar child without the brain damage is likely to receive a considerable sum of money, frequently running into several million pounds.

NHS Resolution, is a body which is part of the Department of Health and Social Care who provide expertise in resolving disputes, including claims for clinical negligence. In their annual report for 2020/2021  they say that maternity claims form 11 in every 100 cases they receive but that these cases amount to 59% of the value of claims.

In other words, maternity cases that lead to the payment of compensation affect a relatively small number of patients but are a huge part of the overall compensation bill.

Everyone benefits if the NHS can reduce the number of negligently caused injuries. Improving safety and care for a mother and her baby leading to even a small reduction in the number of cases could save millions of pounds. To reduce the number of such cases the Government has decided to set up this specialist body to focus only on these maternity cases.

In a statement made in Parliament on 26 January 2022 Lord Kamall said “The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch became responsible for conducting independent investigations relating to intrapartum stillbirth, early neonatal death, or severe brain injury diagnosed in the first seven days of life and also maternal deaths (approx. 1,000 every year) on 1 April 2018. In 2020-21, the Maternity Investigation Programme completed 1,024 reports and made more than 1,500 safety recommendations to individual NHS trusts addressing a wide array of issues.”

The statement goes on to say “Learning from these investigations is key for meeting the Government’s commitment to ‘make the NHS the best place in the world to give birth through personalised, high-quality support’; and our National Maternity Safety Ambition to halve the 2010 rates of still births, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies occurring during or soon after birth by 2025”

Things occasionally go wrong in healthcare, but when they do they can be catastrophic for a newborn child, and their parent.

The solicitors in the clinical negligence team at Bridge McFarland LLP have significant experience of working for those who have suffered from clinical negligence. Over the years we have obtained many millions of pounds in compensation to help those affected lead as normal a life as possible.

If you think that you, or a loved one, may have suffered from negligence and are entitled to claim compensation then please contact us https://www.bridgemcfarland.co.uk/contact contact for a free initial enquiry. 

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-01-26/hcws560

https://www.hsib.org.uk/

https://resolution.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/NHS_Resolution_Annual-Report-2021.pdf