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Concerns have been raised regarding the safety and prevalence of birth injuries at Basildon Hospital.
As a result, The Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust has been given a formal warning following a review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC completed an unannounced inspection due to whistle-blowers raising an alarm over a number of serious incidents that had been identified within the maternity ward. In instances where there has been poor care, there may be an increase in the number of birth injury claims as a result.
In particular, the report published by the CQC highlighted how a number of babies were born starved of oxygen at birth, placing them at high risk of brain injury. The babies subsequently required cooling therapy in order to help slow down the processes that can cause damage. It is unknown as to the extent of damage that occurred for these babies, but in instances of negligent care, birth injury compensation may have been sought.
The inspectors also found that women who were classed as higher risk of potentially suffering complications during labour were giving birth in areas of the maternity unit that were designed for lower risk births. As well as there being a lack of skilled staff and dysfunctional multidisciplinary teams which also contributed towards the number of safety incidents reported. Birth injury compensation claims may increase due to these factors.
Worryingly, the CQC also reported that safety incidents were not being graded correctly in accordance to the level of harm and lessons learnt were not always implemented. This has the potential to mean that errors and incidents could occur multiple times when they could have been avoided.
The CQC have given the maternity unit the rating of inadequate – the lowest possible ranking, which replaces the February 2019 ranking whereby the department had been marked as requiring improvement. It is hoped that the latest report is enough for the hospital to take active steps in improving patient care and safety and to avoid any occurrence of medical negligence.
Contact us now to speak to a specialist birth injury solicitor and find out if you could make a claim.