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Patient safety concerns after Singleton Hospital maternity unit report published

As a specialist in claimant medical negligence, I have been following the developments at Swansea Bay University Health Board’s maternity and neonatal services with great concern. 

It's extremely worrying to see that the report published by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales today has highlighted that there are significant patient safety concerns at the maternity unit at Singleton Hospital, in particular arounds staffing, leadership and facilities.

The report lists a number of issues including:

  • One emergency theatre space was described as unfit for purpose
  • Pain relief was not always timely
  • Staff were disillusioned, undervalued and disconnected with hospital leadership
  • Around 300 reports of incidents without proper evidence that lessons have been learned.

Whilst it’s good to hear that there are said to have been improvements to Singleton Hospital since the inspection visit, it is also the case that it was only earlier this week that the Welsh government placed the unit’s maternity and neonatal services into “enhanced monitoring” and the health board itself has commissioned an independent review.

I understand how devastating it can be for families who have suffered harm or loss due to poor maternity care. I have represented many clients who have experienced similar situations and have helped them to seek justice and compensation for their injuries and losses. The health board has an improvement plan in place and it is to be hoped that this starts to show results for patients and their safety as a matter of urgency.

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