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Maternity negligence scandal

The maternity negligence scandal at Croydon University Hospital is to be laid bare in Court after a mother bled to death following an elective Caesarean section.

The inquest into Mrs Rosida Etwaree’s death is expected to expose medical mistakes that led to her death whilst in the care of the Croydon hospital for a period of just 2 months in 2010.

This comes amid the concerns that have been raised over the state of the NHS maternity services as it struggles to cope with staff shortages and a rising birth rate.

We posted last week about the NHS concerns that there needed to be radical changes to maternity services to improve patient safety, particularly out of hours.

Problems in this area are particularly acute in London hospitals where the mortality rate is double that of the UK and there are fears that it is rising.

Following an independent report last year into the alarming number of maternity negligence cases resulting in death, NHS London is still monitoring how well  hospitals are complying with recommendations including improvements in investigations of problems and availability of senior staff.

At the time of Mrs Etwaree’s death, following the birth of her twin girls by elective C-section, in June 2010 the number of maternal deaths in London over those first 6 months of 2010 had overtaken the total amount of maternal deaths for 2009 as a whole.

An internal investigation into Mrs Etwaree’s death found that the tragedy was preventable. However, full details of what went wrong will not be known until the three-day inquest begin, planned for November 26th.

Despite having provide the details of what happened to Mrs Etwaree to her family, the NHS trust insists that lessons have been learned. They claim that another preventable death has not occurred since her death.

Since 2010, including changing the way obstetric bleeding is dealt with in theatres and ensuring that there is a senior obstetric consultant dedicated to the labour ward.

But, there are concerns that the changes to maternity services in the NHS Trust are not coming fast enough.

Following a series of damning reports from the Care Quality Commission, the Croydon hospital has been issues with two warnings in June for worrying failings in surgical safety and lack of equipment in areas such as the maternity ward.

There are further concerns stemming from the last comprehensive survey by the Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries. It found that attempts to reduce deaths from maternity negligence were being hampered by the poor quality of serious incident reports produced by the hospitals. The assessors considered some of the reports not to be worth the paper they are written on and a few to be white-washes or cover-ups for unacceptable situations.

Swain & Co.’s medical negligence solicitors say that the latest news coming from maternity services is shocking, and very concerning for patient safety.

Having a baby should be the happiest time in a family’s life, but this news shows that for many it is a frightening and, at times, a dangerous time in their life.

Birth injuries and deaths from maternity negligence have a devastating impact on a family, and at times of grief answers are needed.

Swain & Co. are experienced in helping families get these answers from the healthcare professionals that owe this to them.

So, if you need answers as to how and why injuries or death has occurred, then call our expert lawyers on 0800 0351 999

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