BBC Report Highlights Major Failings of Maternity Ward

Birth Negligence
LLB (Hons) Nimish Patel
Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) Nimish Patel In: Medical Negligence

Major Failings of Maternity Ward

On 16th March 2020, the BBC reported that they had finally been able to obtain a review by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), that had investigated 11 serious clinical incidents at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, some of which dated back as far as 2008.

There were identified problems with ‘morale’, and the subsequent investigation expressed further concerns with the ‘decision-making and clinical competency’ of senior doctors and their cooperation with midwives. Some of the most serious and tragic cases involved babies being born with brain damage, or preeclampsia being missed because of the trust’s inability to work together safely. 

Birth Injuries in Hospitals

Cases like these highlight how important it is to get the right support and compensation if you have been the victim of a childbirth experience that has not gone to plan.

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A birth injury is legally defined as an injury that affects the mother or child before, during, or after the process of the birth. If you or your child has suffered, then you could be eligible to claim for traumatic birth compensation. There are a number of different injuries that our solicitors have experience in helping mothers and children with, including; 

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding caused by the birth 
  • Fractured or broken bones caused by the birth 
  • Infections caused by the birth 
  • Pelvic injury caused by the birth 
  • Vaginal tears or lacerations caused by the birth 

In terms of the child, some tragic medical issues that occur with the child include: 

  • Hypoxia 
  • Brain damage 
  • Spine injuries 
  • Bone fractures 
  • Paralysis or partial paralysis 
  • Cerebral Palsy 
  • Erb’s Palsy 

If it can be proven that any of these potentially life-changing injuries have occurred to the mother or to the child due to the medical negligence of an individual or institution involved in the process of the birth, then you will be able to claim traumatic birth compensation. 

Read more about NHS medical negligence claims.

Medical Negligence Claims

A traumatic birth is categorised as medical negligence, and they are judged based on something known as the 4 D’s of medical malpractice. These are: 

  • Duty

This refers to the duty of care that all doctors agree to uphold in their tim treating patients. 

  • Derelict 

Dereliction is the official term for when a medical professional is considered to have broken their duty of care to the patient that they are treating. 

  • Direct Cause 

In order for a birth negligence claim to be filed, it must be proved that it was the direct fault of a medical professional or institution. 

  • Damages

The damages that you could win in your birth negligence compensation will be calculated based on a number of different factors. 

If your case fulfils all of this criteria for a medical negligence claim, then our expert solicitors can help you to make a case. 

It is difficult to be able to give an exact time scale on how long your negligence claim could take. It is likely that your claim could take a little bit longer if you or your child have sustained substantial injuries. 

There are two parts to the process of proving medical negligence. These are: 

  • Uncovering and proving exactly who was responsible for your injury or illness, and therefore proving liability 
  • Then, providing the medical evidence for exactly how the negligence has affected you physically 

Using a specialist solicitor who has a great deal of experience in medical negligence claims can help make this process as straightforward as possible. 

If you are still in the process of recovery, it is likely that your solicitor would advise you to wait until you know the full medical prognosis of you and your child. 

This recent BBC report uncovers the dangers of a medical team that are not able to fulfil their duty to their patients. 

How AWH can Help

If you believe that you have suffered from a birth injury, a chat with our expert medical negligence solicitors can help you to understand where you stand. 

Get in touch today.

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