It’s been revealed that the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust paid over £100 million in compensation to bereaved families following 176 obstetrics claims relating to the death of babies and mothers in the past ten years.
The Care Quality Commission found that at one hospital within two months in 2020 six babies were born starved of oxygen with the risk of brain damage.
Out of the claims made against the trust, 36 related to the deaths of mothers and children, 27 related to stillbirths and 55 involved brain damage or cerebral palsy.
One story was about the death of Gabriela Pintilie at Basildon University Hospital as a result of losing six litres of blood after giving birth. The coroner reported that she died as she did not receive all the blood the doctors had ordered. This hospital’s maternity unit has twice been rated inadequate in 2020, the service “did not always have enough staff to keep women safe”.
A spokesperson from the trust has said it had investigated the incidents at the hospital and a series of improvements had been made to the maternity services, this included the recruitment of 40 new qualified midwives and a consultant midwife.
Tozers' clinical negligence specialist Endurance Arthur writes: "Gabriela’s tragic death could and should have been avoided. Avoidable deaths and injuries arising from poor medical care in the NHS take a terrible toll on families like Gabriela’s who have to live with the consequences. They also demoralise those hardworking and diligent NHS staff trying to do their best every working day. Whilst it is helpful to have the Trust’s assurances, there is little point recruiting new staff if the cultural problems which led to the tragedies are not fully addressed."
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