NHS West Midlands Maternity Inquiry ‘Must Lead To Changes’

Report Raises Care Concerns

03.02.2011

An inquiry into the deaths of 25 babies in West Midlands must lead to serious and necessary changes in care, an expert at Irwin Mitchell has urged.

The report into the deaths between April 2008 and March 2009, which was released in December, found that almost all of the fatalities were avoidable and the standard of maternity care may possibly have been at fault.

Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart has since raised the issue in Parliament in a debate on the quality of such care this week.

Guy Forster, a medical law and patients’ rights specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “I have represented several families who have suffered similar tragedies and all too often the deaths were entirely avoidable with basic, appropriate care.

“It appears that we are seeing no decrease in the numbers of such cases and it leads us to conclude that Trusts are not learning lessons from their previous failings.

“We are not surprised the report concludes that the Trusts themselves are not well placed to assess their own failings; what is needed is a far-reaching external review of such incidents to reverse this alarming trend.”