A medical report has been released which outlines a review of an NHS trust in the Manchester area where it was stated that clinical errors, bad staff attitudes and chronic shortages were commonplace.
The review was carried out by new maternity director at Pennine Acute Hospital NHS trust which operates North Manchester General and the Royal Oldham hospitals, and highlights a string of avoidable deaths and long-term injuries caused by failures over many years.
Some of the details in the report show:
• a premature baby (22 weeks) was left to die alone in a sluice room rather than its mother’s arms
• a woman who died of a catastrophic haemorrhage after staff ignored the symptoms of hypoxia, a condition caused by lack of oxygen, while medics believed the woman had mental health issues
• a baby who died because staff failed to identify its mother’s rare blood type.
It was reported that long-term failures led to “high levels of harm for babies in particular” and repeated warnings over years had not led to improvements.
The internal review only came to light following a freedom of information request by the Manchester Evening News. The paper said the trust tried to suppress the report and even claimed it did not exist.
The report describes “worrying repetitive themes” across the department, including failures to monitor basic vital signs, poor documentation, lab results left unchecked, critical information left off patient records, a “rigid mindset” among staff who tended to view patients’ conditions as “uncomplicated”, repeated breaches of safety procedures and little performance monitoring of the high numbers of agency staff on the trust’s books.
The trust received more legal claims and paid out more in damages than any other between 2010 and 2015; nearly half the claims relating to mothers and babies – payouts that totalled more than £25m.
It is reported that the trust have said at least 58 more staff had been taken on and progress was being made to improve care. They have also fully reviewed the risk and governance arrangements including learning from incidents and complaints.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors has many years’ experience of representing clients who have suffered during childbirth. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of poor care from a medical professional, please feel free to call us for a no obligation discussion on 0116 254 7456.