Birth injury to baby sparks concern at maternity unit

By Blackwater Law

The media are once again focusing on NHS maternity services in the light of new cases of birth injuries caused by negligence.

The high-profile case of Harry Richford has sparked concern about the maternity units managed by East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust.

Birth injury to baby

A three-week inquest into the death of 7-day-old Harry found his death was “wholly avoidable”. The infant had suffered irreversible brain damage through his birth and the aftercare he received, including a delay in delivery, an inexperienced locum registrar not acting with the required urgency and a difficult birth which should have been carried out by a consultant.

The CQC has written to the trust to highlight concerns at the maternity unit following an unannounced inspection in January 2020. Those concerns include:

  • Midwives are making decisions a doctor should make at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital.
  • At the William Harvey Hospital, junior nursing staff are being rostered without adequate senior support.
  • Also at the William Harvey Hospital, the monitoring of patients in the maternity unit was found not to be as robust as it should be.

Currently, there is a review underway of 26 maternity cases at the trust, including several deaths.
A spokesperson for the trust said

“We recognise that the change needed in our maternity service has not taken place quickly enough, and we are doing everything we can to improve our culture so that we become an organisation which is constantly learning and improving.”

Birth injury claims

A birth injury that is the result of medical negligence could be subject to a birth injury claim. The injury could be to either the baby or the mother and, depending on the severity, a claim for birth injury compensation could be made.

Blackwater Law has experienced birth injury lawyers on hand to give free initial advice to anyone who would like to discuss a possible claim.

Get expert legal advice

Get free initial legal advice from Jason Brady, specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500