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Concerns have been raised by the NHS’ training regulator over the treatment of trainee doctors at the obstetric and gynaecology department at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust. It is feared that this could lead to an increase in potential maternity compensation claims.
Reviewers from the regulator found concerns over the treatment of junior doctors by some consultants, noting that some of the trainees were nearing ‘meltdown.’
One incident in particular is mentioned. The reviewers found that a consultant had refused to attend an obstetrics emergency, after they were called for by a junior doctor. The report added ‘“The panel unanimously agreed that Consultant presence was required without delay.”
The report will be particularly concerning for patients as it will be reminiscent of findings within the Ockenden report, released earlier this year. The report found that there were 295 avoidable baby deaths or injuries between 2000 and 2019.
The report also noted that there were cases where junior staff were afraid or did not want to escalate issues to senior staff.
“Worrying” lack of knowledge and experience in gynaecology surgery
Within the report, the training regulator added, “Decisive action was needed as Trainees described being near ‘meltdown’. High sickness levels and low morale had led to a vicious cycle, and the present trajectory was not sustainable.”
The NHS training panel highlighted key areas of concern, rota changes, training standards and availability of out of hours consultants were all mentioned. The trust’s trainees have been placed under “enhanced monitoring.”
Also noted was a “worrying” lack of knowledge and experience in gynaecology surgery. The issue has now been promoted to the General Medical Council, and the trainees placed in intensive support.
Medical staff who feel under pressure or feel they cannot raise issues with senior staff could be more likely to make a mistake. It is these mistakes that can lead to negligent care.
In cases where this is happening in obstetrics departments, the negligence can cause serious injury or even death to a baby or mother.
Hospitals have clear guidelines and structures in place, in order to ensure that whoever is taking care of you, be they junior or senior, you should receive the same level of assistance.
The team at Blackwater Law is experienced in dealing with a wide range of birth injury claims relating to injuries to both mother and baby. Such is their expertise that the team advise and represent clients across the country.