Bliss Report Finds Intensive Care Units For Babies ‘At Breaking Point’

Lawyers Call For Action To Address Safety Concerns

19.10.2015

Specialist medical negligence lawyers have urged that swift action is taking to investigate new concerns raised in a report by the baby charity Bliss that nine out of ten intensive care units for babies are “at breaking point”.

The study by the charity suggested that the majority of units are caring for more sick and premature babies than is safe, while the clinical leaders in neonatal units are not being involved in funding discussions by management.

According to Bliss, this means NHS Trusts are underestimating the demand for care in its units.

Other key figures identified included that a third of special care units did not meet safe staffing levels, with the figure increasing to 63 per cent for local neonatal units.

Reacting to the report, legal experts in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist medical negligence team are now calling for the NHS and the government to work quickly to examine the concerns raised and improve standards where necessary.

Expert Opinion
“The findings of the report by Bliss are clearly a huge concern, as any parent would expect that their child would get access to quality, safe care during time in hospital – with this being perhaps emphasised even further when it comes to intensive care.

“Patient safety should always be the priority for the NHS, so the suggestion that several pressures have led to safety being called into question is a major concern.

“The government and the NHS now have a responsibility to ensure that steps are taken to investigate these issues further, with the aim of identifying what can be done to ensure the problems are tackled.

“Having seen the terrible consequences that safety failings in the NHS can have, we would urge that this issue is addressed as soon as possible.”
Ian Christian, Partner