In a recent report published by the CQC, serious concerns have been raised about the progress being made in maternity services, highlighting that this has been “too slow” to ensure all women have access to safe and effective maternity care.
The report recognises that “the death or injury of a new baby or mother is devastating and something that everyone working in the health and care system has a responsibility to do all they can to prevent”, yet despite the greater focus on maternity services in recent times mothers and their babies continue to be at risk of serious injury and death.
With regards to learning from patient safety incidents, the report highlighted that in most services the staff were not always able to recognise what constituted as an incident or knew how to record such events appropriately. There were also issues in terms of capacity and pressures on staff in that the simply did not feel they had the time to report such incidents.
While acknowledging that it is vital that we have a system that is open, and that recognises, investigates, and learns when things go wrong, it is clear our maternity services still have some way to go in order to ensure that families get the truth, and safety continually improves.
Other themes identified to be hindering progression of maternity services included quality of staff training, poor working relationships between obstetric and midwifery teams, and hospital and community-based midwifery teams; a lack of robust assessment and a failure to fully engage with and listen to needs of local women.
Although rare, serious complications and maternity deaths have a long-term and enduring impact on families and their loved ones. The devastation caused in such situations should not be underestimated.
If you believe you have suffered because of negligence during maternity care and would like to discuss whether there are any grounds for a potential medical negligence claim with one of our medical negligence specialists, please contact us on 0151 645 0055.
To read the full report visit Safety, equity and engagement in maternity services | Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk)