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NHS Figures Show Rise In Number Of Birth Injury Cases

Specialists Lawyers Say Same Issues Often Repeated


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Specialist medical negligence lawyers say more needs to be done to learn lessons from the rising number of birth injury cases as similar avoidable mistakes are all too often repeated across the country.

Figures revealed in the NHS Resolution annual report show that there were 232 cases against the NHS in 2016/17, the highest figure for 11 years. Birth injuries can leave babies with severe brain damage and cerebral palsy meaning they need 24 hour care for the rest of their life.

Expert Opinion
“The vast majority of babies born in the UK suffer no serious problems but there are a growing number who are not so fortunate and suffer injuries at birth which can be devastating.

“Birth injuries can be catastrophic. Many babies injured at birth suffer cerebral palsy and severe brain injuries which leaves them disabled for the rest of their lives. They will often need 24-hour care for life and will never work or be able to live independently.

“From our experience investigating maternity care on behalf of the families affected, many birth injuries are wholly avoidable and there are several common factors that keep occurring: failures in interpreting CTG heartbeats, incorrect use of the syntocinon drug, delays in decisions to undertake caesarean sections and not having consultants present at high risk births. Better training, safer staffing levels and more robust procedures could help reduce the risk of these issues.

“It’s often only because of medical negligence cases that some of these issues come to light and reoccurring issues become known. It’s therefore crucial that lessons are learnt to improve patient safety for others.”
Ian Christian, Partner

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Birth Injury Claims.