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Avoidable Maternity Deaths In London ‘Unacceptable’

Panorama Investigation Highlights Concerns Over Care


A medical negligence specialist at Irwin Mitchell has urged the NHS to provide reassurances that lessons have been learnt following the release of a report which raises concerns over avoidable maternal deaths in London.

Research seen by BBC’s Panorama has revealed that the deaths of 17 out of 42 patients cared for by NHS London across an 18-month period could have been avoided through the provision of better standards of care.

It also revealed that some of the hospital-run inquiries into such deaths tended to be defensive and not fully accurate.

The findings of the report have come as figures also revealed how maternity services across the UK are being stretched, with some having to close doors to new admissions due to problems including staff shortages.

Commenting on the findings, Auriana Griffiths, a Partner and specialist in birth injury claims at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “My work on many cases related to maternity care has shown just how devastating the provision of substandard care can be, leading people to suffer life-changing and occasionally fatal injuries.

“Maternity units may be among some of the busiest in hospitals at present, but we would urge the NHS and authorities to do everything they can to ensure systems are put in place to provide the standard of treatment that patients can reasonably expect to receive.

“Patients being treated by the NHS expect good quality standard of care. It is unacceptable to see that some people have suffered because this simply was not the case.

“We hope that the findings in the report will now result in changes being made to ensure that avoidable deaths are prevented.”