Birth Injury Charity identifies poor management of labour and birth

Posted on: November 16th, 2016

Baby Lifeline provides training for medical staff to avoid the catastrophic results of avoidable birth injuries. 

Their recent report indicated that:

Every day around 15 babies are stillborn or die within the first four weeks of life (MBRRACE-UK, 2015)

  1. Each year in the UK between 500 – 800 babies die or are left with a severe brain injury due to something going wrong during labour (RCOG, 2016).
  2. Obstetrics made up 42% of the total value of clinical negligence claims against the NHS in the last financial year (The NHS Litigation Authority Annual Report for 2015/16).

These figures show that government investment in the NHS is still not going far enough to reduce birth injuries.  The value of the clinical negligence obstetric cases suggests that many of the birth injuries are avoidable. 

At Coffin Mew we have a great deal of experience and expertise in relation to investigating birth injuries that have been caused by medical negligence.

The reason that these medical negligence claims make up such a large part of NHS spending on claims is that the injuries suffered are so serious, leaving babies with long-term severe disabilities such as cerebral palsy.  Such injuries require round the clock care for life and specialist wheelchair adapted housing. If the negligent mistakes that are made when managing labour and birth could be reduced then the NHS spending on medical negligence claims would reduce dramatically and there would be fewer families facing the harsh life-changing reality of life with a severely disabled child.

It is important to realise that not all birth injuries are avoidable. To succeed with a clinical negligence claim we have to prove with the assistance of expert medical evidence:

  1. That the treatment provided by the medical team involved was substandard (breach of duty).
  2. That if the care was not substandard it is likely that the injury could have been avoided or reduced in severity.

Coffin Mew is ranked in the top tier of the Legal 500 and recognised for our “focus on complex brain injury and neonatal cases”.  We have won significant victories in the south for both Portsmouth and Southampton residents, as well as clients across the country.  

We do hope our support of Baby Lifeline can reduce the rate of avoidable injuries in the future. 

For further information, please contact Sue Bowler in our Clinical and Catastrophic Injury team