Why allowing coroners to investigate full term stillbirths can be positive for both parents and future care standards
Whilst all stillbirths are of course tragic and in most cases unavoidable, we know from…
Established in 1981, Baby Lifeline offers care and support to pregnant women and newborn babies across the UK and beyond. The organisation provides specialist training to healthcare professionals, helping the charity fund vital equipment for maternity and special care baby units.
In 2016, the charity launched its Monitoring for Mums appeal, calling for a new national standardisation of in-house maternity training in all UK hospitals. It’s hoped this pioneering new approach to maternity and prenatal care will reduce instances of stillbirth and neonatal death in NHS Hospital Trusts, saving expectant mothers the pain of losing their baby.
Baby Lifeline founder, Judy Ledger, set up the charity 35 years ago after tragically losing three babies prematurely. Her charity has since raised over £10 million to help improve maternity care across the UK, with Monitoring for Mums becoming the biggest funding appeal the charity has ever launched.
We see far too many cases of serious, life-long injuries being suffered at birth due to poor equipment being used, wrong recordings being taken with regards to a baby’s health, or mistakes being made because staff have not had the relevant training in how to use the equipment.
The campaign is seeking to raise £4.5m to provide all of these maternity units the equipment they have identified as being needed. That would be a figure similar or perhaps less than we’d be looking to secure in compensation for a single baby left needing life-long support due to avoidable errors made during labour or birth.
Hudgell Solicitors became involved with Baby Lifeline through our chief executive, Amanda Stevens, who previously worked as the manager of a maternity unit in a London hospital. With our help, Baby Lifeline was able to launch its new campaign to a national audience, after Mrs Stevens appeared alongside charity founder Judy Ledger to promote the appeal on several national radio stations. We also provided the charity with a new fundraising website, which has proved integral to the success of the campaign.
Monitoring for Mums’ long-term ambition is to raise £4.5m in donations to fund the purchase of key equipment found to be lacking in maternity wards across the UK. The charity will use the results from a survey of 125 NHS trusts to determine which hospitals receive the new equipment, based on what administrators believe will help to improve the service they offer.
Through its Monitoring for Mums campaign, Baby Lifeline has helped hundreds of hospitals improve the maternity care they offer to mothers and babies. But more needs to be done to reduce instances of stillbirth and neonatal death, and find ways to preserve the lives of vulnerable young infants.
At Hudgell Solicitors, we’re committed to supporting Monitoring for Mums and its mission to improve maternity care in the nation’s hospitals. With the potential to save dozens of new lives every day, the charity is one of the most important in safeguarding the next generation from devastating stillbirths and neonatal deaths.
We’ll continue raising awareness for the appeal by sharing related news and insight, as well as the latest stillbirth and neonatal death statistics from across the UK. The government has set an ambitious target of halving the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries in babies by 2030, and only through supporting initiatives like Monitoring for Mums will this goal be achieved.
To find out how you can get involved in the campaign, and see what equipment is required by your local hospital maternity unit, visit monitoringformums.co.uk.
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