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NHS Report Finds 340 Errors Made On Maternity Wards Every Day

Medical Negligence Lawyers Call For Mistakes To Be Stamped Out


A new report into NHS maternity care in England has revealed that more than 340 errors are made on maternity wards every day.

The NHS England report found 151 women and newborns died on maternity wards in 2015, with another 351 suffering serious harm as a result of failures in care.

Expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who have experience representing those affected by errors in maternity and neonatal care, have expressed their concern at the number of incidents taking place on maternity wards.

They also said the review into the safety of maternity services in England, which is expected to be published later this week, should be used to identify problem areas and ensure lessons are being learned from previous mistakes to help improve standards across the board and ensure the same mistakes are not made time and time again.

Three-quarters of the 124,143 incidents reported were deemed to be ‘near misses’ and not to have caused any harm to mothers or babies. More than a third of incidents related to ‘treatment or procedure’ such as pain-relieving epidural injections being inserted into the wrong place or errors with forceps.

Another 8,504 related to ‘infrastructure’, which included women and babies being harmed due to a lack of staff and 8,724 were due to documentation errors.

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

Expert Opinion
The numbers of incidents being reported on maternity units is simply not acceptable. We have seen the impact failures on these wards can have on parents and children alike and it is important steps are taken to reduce the frequency of errors.

“Tragically, we represent a number of parents who have lost children as a result of failures in care on maternity wards and we hope that this report and the publication of the review into safety on maternity wards led by Baroness Cumberlege will lead to changes across the NHS.

“It is absolutely vital the findings of the review are carefully considered and that the safety of patients is the top priority, which means ensuring problem areas are identified and corrected immediately so mistakes don’t continue to occur.
Mandy Luckman, Partner

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