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Concerning variations of birth care found in England
This study, though troubling, is nonetheless unsurprising – the findings very much fit with what my colleagues and I see daily.
We at Tozers specialise in birth claims and it is clear that there is a significant variety between different hospitals in terms of maternity outcomes. The intention of the NHS is that if a birth (or indeed any aspect of care) goes wrong and a patient is injured, or worse if a baby dies, then when a legal claim is brought the hospital concerned will learn lessons from that and should introduce measures to reduce the possibility of a repetition.
However, implementation of that laudable aim seems patchy. For example, a few years ago one hospital in the South-West focused on a particular birth injury where the baby’s arm can be irreparably damaged when a particular obstetric emergency called shoulder dystocia is not tackled correctly. This requires no special equipment, simply training in some skills. As a result that hospital has experienced not a single instance of that injury on a permanent basis in nearly 30,000 deliveries. By contrast, other units in the country seem have a worryingly high incidence rate of the problem.
I very much hope for the sake of mothers and babies that the reasons behind this variation in outcomes is looked at carefully and are steps taken to address the reasons behind this.
At Tozers Solicitors LLP we act for clients as solicitors in Exeter, Devon, the South West and nationally. Should you or a family member wish to discuss a potential claim, please call our specialist team for a free and confidential consultation.