Maternity care in England receives £2.45 million funding after a landmark case flags up concerns over avoidable deaths in NHS Trusts
Posted on 21st July 2021
Our leading medical negligence solicitors discuss concerns over medical negligence in maternity care, and the government's response.
Earlier this year, a landmark prosecution case saw an NHS Hospital Trust face a £733,000 fine for their negligent actions in the care of newborn Harry Richard, who tragically died at just 7 days old. This landmark prosecution, along with alarming statistics arising from other NHS Trusts around the country, has led to the government’s announcement of a number of reforms revolving around staffing and training procedures.
The prosecution case:
Harry Richford was born on the 2nd November 2017, via caesarian, to a happy and healthy mum, Sarah. However, delays by the Trust staff in helping Harry’s breathing after being delivered led to him developing severe brain damage, and sadly passing away just 7 days later.
It was in October of 2020 that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) initially announced that they would be pursuing a criminal proceeding against the East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust regarding Harry’s care. This in itself was a landmark event, with it being the first time that an NHS trust has been criminally charged for their medical negligence and unsafe treatment.
When the case eventually went to court last month, the judge claimed that Harry’s death was ‘wholly avoidable’, and imposed the £733,000 fine on the NHS Trust. Judge Barron claimed that this fine was intended to ‘bring it home’ to the Trust that change needed to happen.
Increased maternity care funding:
In line with these comments from the Judge, the government has seemingly responded with a significant increase in funding to maternity services and childbirth care. The funding pledge is said to be part of a ‘new drive’ to reduce brain injuries in children and prevent complications in childbirth.
This also comes after a new report that 46 babies have suffered from brain damage, and a further 19 have been still born at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The worrying data suggests that the medical negligence seen in Harry’s case was far from an isolated incident, and that there is a wider problem within the maternity services in the country.
What will the funding be spent on?
The new money is said to be being used to introduce a number of reforms in the way that maternity care works. £449,000 of the money is set to go towards a new ‘planning tool’ to ensure adequate staffing and medical support for all patients.
The remaining £2 million will be spent on new ways to spot newborn babies in distress, in order to prevent them from suffering from a lack of oxygen, and developing brain damage or other problems. This is the first phase of a new Avoiding Brain injuries in Childbirth (ABC) collaboration.
Will the funding help to reduce medical negligence cases in maternity care?
This is definitely the hope. MG Legal’s specialist no win no fee medical negligence solicitors are all too aware of the severity of the issues that negligent care from maternity staff can lead to, and know that something needs to change.
Our team have worked on a number of large cases involving brain damage in infants, caused by medical negligence during childbirth. These legal cases are extremely difficult, and can be very painful for the families involved. Our expert team work with sensitivity, sympathy, and compassion, with all of our clients. We know that no amount of money can replace a lost child, or mend them back to full health after a negligent mistake during childbirth, but we go above and beyond to ensure that you receive the financial support that you deserve in order to attempt to rebuild your life.
If you, or your child, has suffered from medical negligence of any kind, or a mistake of any severity, that has caused any degree of injury or harm, then get in touch with our specialist medical negligence solicitors today, for a no-obligation discussion of your case.
Our leading team of friendly solicitors have over 30 years of experience in cases similar to yours, and will take care of everything, ensuring that the claims process is as stress-free as possible for you as our client. Get in touch with us today, here, or via online form, here, and speak to a solicitor the same working day about your No Win No Fee claim.
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