Birth injury compensation claims could rise as 40% of NHS maternity wards not safe.

By Blackwater Law

mother in hospital holding and looking down on her baby

Concerns over an increase in birth injury compensation claims have arisen after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigation into standards at maternity wards across the UK.

It has revealed that a shocking 40% are not delivering safe care for expectant mothers


The CQC report follows damning evidence of unsafe working practices amongst midwives at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

  • A pre-occupation with so-called “normal” birth practices led to failings on the part of medical staff.
  • Evidence has also emerged of staff failing to learn from critical mistakes.
  • These mistakes mean thousands of families could be entitled to make birth injury compensation claims.

Donna Ockenden report unearths dangerous working culture amongst some midwives

Published in March 2022, the Donna Ockenden report was the culmination of an investigation into thousands of families’ maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust over a timeframe of almost two decades.

As specialists in birth injury compensation claims, Blackwater Law covered the report’s findings which detailed dozens of cases of avoidable injuries and even deaths at the Trust. Staff were found to be overly confident in their abilities to deal with complex births and were pre-occupied with promoting “normal births.” They were often in direct conflict with national healthcare guidelines.

Advocates of “normal” births pressure mothers into vaginal deliveries. Even when there is evidence to suggest that a C-section would be safer for the mother and / or child. The practice conflicts with official medical guidelines but is still advocated for by a minority of midwives.

Donna Ockenden has since warned that expectant mothers cannot expect safe care in UK maternity wards until all the recommendations made in her report are implemented on a nationwide basis.

So-called “normal” birth practices pose a nationwide risk

Just days after the Donna Ockenden report highlighted the dangers of promoting so-called “normal” births, the CQC indicated that the dangerous practice had been encouraged in at least five NHS trusts across the UK.

In the UK around a third of childbirths come via C-section. But the investigation found several Trusts across the UK where rates were much lower, including:

  • Royal Cornwall Trust at 15% (the Trust disputes this figure)
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, at 21%
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals Trust, at 24.6%

The CQC’s report found that 80 of the 193 Trusts reviewed were not delivering acceptable maternity care. Only, two were made the highest grade of “outstanding.” 72 “required improvement” and eight were found to be “inadequate”.

Making a birth injury compensation claim

If you or a family member has been the victim of clinical negligence because of poor maternity care, you should speak to a birth injury solicitor for advice on how to proceed.

If you’re not sure about the process or whether you have a case, advice is initially available for free with no pressure to proceed.

Should you decide to pursue a birth injury claim, you can do so on a no-win, no fee basis – so there is no risk to your personal finances.

Get Expert Legal Advice

Call today and speak to Jason Brady, specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation

CALL 0800 083 5500