Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Learning important lessons from tragedies

PUBLISHED: 15:57 02 May 2014

Rosaline Wong of Ashton KCJ

Rosaline Wong of Ashton KCJ

Archant

Legally Speaking with Ashton KCJ

In the period between April 2000 and March 2010, the NHS Litigation Authority received 38 claims for women who have died during or as a result of childbirth.

The estimated total value of the claims was £20million.

Reports show that the majority of these deaths were caused by complications associated with pregnancy, such as raised blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, and maternal infection.

It is important to note that maternity units are facing an increasing number of complex or multiple births and not all maternal deaths can be prevented, but substandard care was found in 70% of deaths associated with complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

Over the years, I have acted for many bereaved husbands or partners and understand the devastation they have been through.

I have also seen some common factors between the deaths. For example: high risk pregnancies being handled by junior staff who do not have the adequate skills and experience in caring for high risk pregnancies and have failed to recognise and respond to the severity of the condition of the women.

In some cases, contributory factors have been a shortage of midwifery staff leading to an over reliance on the use of agency staff who are unfamiliar with unit policies.

Sadly, similar mistakes are still being made in the same hospitals or hospitals elsewhere. This could suggest that lessons have not been learned, or remedial actions not implemented.

One way to counteract this would be the publication of hospital adverse incidents and remedial actions on a designated NHS website to ensure that valuable lessons are shared.

Whilst we are not advocating the naming and shaming of hospitals, it’s difficult to see what can be gained if only a handful of health professionals know how and why the deaths occurred.

Every opportunity to prevent death occurring in pregnancy and childbirth must be taken seriously. It is not acceptable to regard maternal death as an isolated incident and the NHS owes a duty of care to mothers and children under their watch.

For advice on any aspect of medical injury claims, please contact Ashton KCJ’s Medical Injury team.

Rosaline Wong

Medical Injury Solicitor

Ashton KCJ

T: 01473 849950

E: rosaline.wong@ashtonkcj.co.uk

www.ashtonkcj.co.uk

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We would advise you to seek professional advice before acting on this information.

A Hadleigh couple who had both their cars stolen during a burglary while they slept just metres from the intruders have said they have been “overwhelmed” after their plight was shared more than 10,000 times on social media.

Explore a half size Sutton Hoo ship, watch Roman battle drills and meet D-Day re-enactors at Museum of East Anglian Life’s Living History Fair this August.

A lorry and two cars collided at the junction of Foxhall Road and Arundel Way in Ipswich this afternoon.

A brave seven-year-old from Shotley has had her long locks cut off for charity - after being inspired by a video in Youtube.

More than 50 jobs at Suffolk libraries are under threat as the service is being forced into a major restructure following two years of serious budget cuts.

Red carpet parades will showcase Suffolk’s favourite dog breeds in style this weekend as the county celebrates a landmark tenth anniversary.

A man drank up to 10 pints of lager before brandishing knives in an Ipswich town centre shop causing it to be evacuated, a court has heard.

Three Ipswich men accused of raping a 15-year-old girl have been cleared after the prosecution offered no evidence against them.

An Ipswich Councillor has called for more to be done to tackle the gender pay gap in Ipswich, after latest figures have revealed women in the town earn £162 less per week than men.

Emergency services including an air ambulance crew are at the scene of a serious crash in mid Suffolk.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24