As recently reported in the Independent newspaper, the safety of maternity services are to be investigated by MPs. The health and social care select committee will hold an enquiry into why maternity incidents re-occur and what can be done to improve safety and standards. They will examine whether a ” blame culture” in the health service can be tackled to improve openness, learning and ultimately better outcomes.
The Select Committee is chaired by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt. He pointed out “if we had the same neonatal death rate as Sweden, a thousand fewer babies would die every year”. He added “when we have seen a pattern of baby deaths, we must be confident that failings which contributed to them have been addressed and lessons learned”.
In addition, Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) noted that black women are five times more likely to die in pregnancy than white women and asian women are twice as likely as white women to die in pregnancy. He advised that these anomalies need to be investigated, to improve services, learn from mistakes and support families that have suffered.
Whilst it is disheartening to see the same mistakes leading to tragic consequences, it is encouraging that this enquiry is looking to improve the safety for mothers and babies in maternity services. Any learning and cultural change that leads to better outcomes going forward has to be welcomed.
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)2547456 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your concerns.