Greater Manchester Hospital Trusts Pay £6 Million to Injured Mums and Babies

Greater Manchester Hospital Trusts
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam Updated: In: Medical Negligence

Greater Manchester Hospital Trusts Pay £6 Million in Compensation to Mothers and Babies

Following the launch of the UK’s first-ever parliamentary committee into birth trauma this year, it has been revealed that Greater Manchester hospital trusts have paid £6 million in compensation to injuries suffered by mothers and babies during the last two years. This figure comes after a string of reports of ‘shockingly poor care’ becoming evermore common in the NHS.

AWH Solicitors has been actively contributing towards the inquiry. In February 2024, our medical negligence solicitors made an official submission of support into the inquiry into the lasting effects of birth trauma.

You can read further about our maternity cases here.

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust,

New data from a Freedom of Information request (FOI) seen by the M.E.N has shown highlights significant failings in care for Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Tameside Hospital. The figures show that from November 2021 to November 2023, the trust has paid out £3,802,500 in compensation for birth injury claims. During that period at the trust the the birth injury rate was 394 injuries per 1,000 deliveries.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Furthermore, from November 2021 to November 2024,  Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), which operates the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, has paid out £1,567,000. This compensation is solely for patients who have suffered injuries while giving birth under the trust’s maternity care.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Finally,  from November 2021 to November 2023, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Bolton Hospital, paid out £620,178 in total for birth injuries. The figure breaks down into £191,500 being paid in damages for injuries to babies, while £428,678 was paid out for injuries to mums.

Comments From a Spokesperson

Both Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust have declined to comment. A spokesperson for WWL said: “The safety and care for our patients is the trust’s number one priority and we pride ourselves on our high standards, compassion and understanding within our maternity services.

“Whilst we are not able to comment on individual cases, our priority when incidents do occur, is to conduct a thorough, open, and transparent investigation with our patients and their families to support and identify any lessons that we can learn to improve the care we deliver.

“For those incidents, the Trust has accepted responsibility and apologises to the patients involved for the distress and injury caused. The figures were drawn form a Freedom of Information (FOI) response issued by the trust.

“However, due to human error, there were inaccuracies with the data provided.”

Amended Freedom of Information Figures

Since the release of the initial FOI figures seen by the M.E.N., the trust has made amendments, releasing a follow up statement on 6 February 2024. Initially the trust claimed to have spend £1,560,000 on birth injury compensation over a two-year period. However, this figure was updated to £1,567,000.

Furthermore, the initial FOI data showed that a total of 149 perineal (vaginal) tears were suffered by mothers following childbirth at the trust. Of the 149 perineal tears, 58 were first degree, 81 were second degree and 10 were third degree tears. Additionally, around 30 women suffered pelvic fractures. This includes fractures to the public bone, coccyx or sacrum.

However, in the updated response, the trust’s amended figures show that there had been:

  • 389 first degree perineal tears, equating to seven per cent of deliveries at the trust
  • 934 second degree tear equating to 18 per cent of deliveries
  • 89 third degree tears equating to one per cent of deliveries
  • 6 fourth degree tears equating to 0.1 per cent of deliveries

Furthermore, the trust amended the figures around pelvic fractures from 30 to zero from November 2021 to November 2023.

Maternity Claims Represent Highest Value Clinical Negligence Claims

According to NHS Resolution, “maternity claims represent the highest value and second highest number of clinical negligence claims’. Birth injuries are often traumatic, requiring mothers to undergo emergency surgeries and long-term recovery all while caring for a newborn.”

The British Trauma Association leader adds: “Birth trauma wasn’t talked about at all until relatively recently. Many women tell us they were completely unaware of, for example, the possibility of sustaining injuries as a result of birth. We think this is partly because there is a widespread attitude that we shouldn’t make pregnant women feel frightened of labour, but also because there is a tendency to trivialise and ignore women’s health problems.”

“When women do develop trauma symptoms after birth, they are often told by others to ‘move on’ and to feel grateful that they have a healthy baby.”

“At the moment, a lot of birth injuries go undiagnosed, causing serious problems,” says Ms Thomas. A third or fourth degree tear, also known as an anal sphincter tear, can be repaired if diagnosed early enough, but if left untreated, it can leave women with lifelong faecal incontinence, which can be very distressing.”

“At the Birth Trauma Association, we hear a lot of stories of birth injuries caused by medical negligence. However, many women never receive compensation for these injuries. Contrary to public perception, suing the NHS can be very hard.”

AWH Solicitors Advocating for Maternity Safety in the NHS

AWH Solicitors has been writing articles covering the topic of maternity safety in the NHS.

Below you can read further about other relevant topics:

What to Do if You or a Loved One Has Suffered from NHS Maternity Care Negligence?

For those who are unfortunate to suffer injury and loss due to any aspect of maternity care, pursuing a claim for maternity negligence is a way of obtaining compensation and can also promote change within the NHS to ensure these failings don’t happen again. That is why it remains so important for anyone who is unhappy with how they are treated in the NHS to come forward and make a claim.

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