The government funded a report by the Each Baby Counts project to analyse cases of stillbirth, neonatal death and babies born with brain damage in NHS maternity units. Each Baby Counts is the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ national quality improvement programme, which was created to reduce the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled due to incidents that occur during labour. The report found that of the 700,000 babies born every year, more than 1,100 die or are severely brain damaged.
A second report by Each Baby Counts highlighted that in 2016, 71% of the deaths and serious harm to babies could have been avoided if a higher quality of maternity care had been provided.
Increased pressure on maternity units and low staff levels were highlighted as two of the main contributors to the deaths and / or serious harm of babies. It was also noted in many cases that there were failures by midwives and obstetricians to follow guidelines.
The senior policy advisor at the National Childbirth Trust charity said that its research had found that 50% of women who gave birth experienced at least one “red flag” lapse in safety. She said that “these are indicators of dangerously low staffing levels, such as women not receiving one-to-one care during labour or there being an undue delay in a time-critical activity.”
The investigations and reports were conducted with the aim to reduce the number of injuries and deaths and to campaign for better practice and training that will make maternity units as safe as possible.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence law. If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of negligence, due to private or NHS treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.