National Review Of Maternity Services Leads To New Pregnancy Blueprint

Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyers Welcome Review Of Maternity Care In England

23.02.2016

A new blueprint for the way maternity care is handled within the NHS has been outlined following a review of maternity services.

The independent review, which was chaired by Baroness Cumberlege, will recommend that women will have a personal maternity care budget to be spent on the NHS care they choose and that expectant mothers will be able to choose where they want to give birth.

The report, which noted that midwives and obstetricians often disagree about the best treatment, called for the professions to train together to create a better working relationship, making maternity services in England safer.

The latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections have rated 38 per cent of maternity services in England as ‘requiring improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

Despite this, Baroness Cumberlege’s report states that maternity care across England as a whole has never been safer, but noted concerns over the variation in the care provided by individual hospitals and medical professionals.

Specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who have vast experience representing clients who have suffered poor standards of maternity care, which in some tragic cases can lead to the loss of a baby or mother, have welcomed the desire to make maternity care safer.

Mandy Luckman, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“The impact of sub-standard maternity care can have a devastating impact on those involved. We have represented a number of heartbroken families who have lost babies as a result of failings in the care they were provided and we are glad a full review of maternity care in England was undertaken.

“The first priority should always be patient care and it is important that this review is used to identify problem areas and that measures are implemented immediately to correct these failings. Providing mothers with a maternity budget will be welcomed by some and help to provide women with more choice, but it is important this new measure is implemented correctly.

“This move will require expectant mothers to have a significant degree of knowledge about where to access the best care for them and their babies, so it is crucial steps are put in place to ensure they are provided with the best possible information before deciding on their care. It could be argued that this recommendation will shift the onus of patient safety onto the mothers, when in fact it should be the responsibility of the maternity services to ensure that good quality and safe services are available in all maternity units.

“The most important thing following the review is that errors identified are addressed and the NHS is open, transparent and learns from previous mistakes to prevent other patients enduring the same failings.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner

The report also recommended that midwives should work in small teams based in the community, enabling them to get to know individual patients. Baroness Cumberlege also called for “real progress” in the help and support available for mothers suffering mental ill health.