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Health Secretary announces new measures to reduce avoidable deaths in maternity units

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced new measures to improve the safety of maternity care in the NHS. By putting an end to ‘blame culture’ and encouraging an ‘open and transparent culture’ he hopes to reduce the numbers of avoidable deaths occurring in NHS hospitals. These include:

  • £8m for training midwives
  • £1/4 for thinktank for improving maternity care
  • Rating system for maternity units across the NHS
  • A national quality improvement programme
  • A target has been set of halving stillbirths and neonatal deaths by 2030.

Currently, 7 out of every 1000 babies born are either still birth or die shortly after birth which alarmingly means the UK has one of the worst records for infant deaths amongst developed countries. The Health Secretary hopes that the UK follow Sweden’s example whereby the country cut the numbers of avoidable deaths of babies in half!

Jeremy Hunt said:
“But even though we have made much progress, our stillbirth rates are still amongst the highest in Western Europe,

“Many on the frontline say there is still too much of a blame culture when things go wrong – often caused by fear of litigation or worry about damage to reputation and careers.”

Head of Policy and public affairs at Scope (charity which supports people with disabilities), James Taylor, commented:

“It is very positive that the government will be listening to disabled people and their parents on how the NHS can better support families when serious issues do occur during birth,

Chief Exec of Sands (stillbirth and neonatal charity), Clea Harmer said:

“We’re delighted that the importance of a clear national strategy for a sustained reduction in deaths has been recognised, and resources have been committed to achieve this.

“We pay tribute to the parents across the country who, by speaking out about their personal experience of bereavement, have helped us raise awareness that much more can and should be done.

“Their voices must continue to be heard as these new measures are rolled out,”

Money is often no consolation for such a tragic incident but sadly medical negligence like this does sometimes happen and the compensation is invaluable when it comes to providing support to the injured party and their family. If you have been unfortunate enough to have experienced a traumatic experience in hospital then contact us now at Thorneycroft Solicitors today for a free no-obligation assessment of your case on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form.

Our medical negligence solicitors are dedicated to maximising the compensation for medical negligence available on a no win – no fee basis.