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February 20th 2020

Birth Negligence

Why we joined forces with Baby Lifeline to highlight ‘incomprehensible’ maternity training shortfalls

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens

Chief Executive Officer, Senior Solicitor

Why we joined forces with Baby Lifeline to highlight ‘incomprehensible’ maternity training shortfalls

Hudgell Solicitors today joined forces with mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline to deliver a powerful media campaign highlighting the continued maternity failings in the UK and the need for greater investment into training.

Hudgell Solicitors today joined forces with mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline to deliver a powerful media campaign highlighting the continued maternity failings in the UK and the need for greater investment into training.

Chief Executive Amanda Stevens and James Titcombe OBE, campaign ambassador for Baby Lifeline, were interviewed for national and regional television and radio programmes.

They appeared alongside mother Stephanie Broadley, who has also today shared her story with national newspapers about how she suffered the devastating loss of her baby boy, who was stillborn following errors by maternity staff in 2018.

Mrs Stevens and Mr Titcombe highlighted the need for greater investment into improving maternity care across UK hospitals, calling for the reinstatement of the £8.1m Maternity Safety Training Fund, an initiative which saw 30,000 staff access training in 2016.

They also called for standardised training across all trusts and and said complete transparency was needed following investigations when things go wrong, to ensure lessons are learned and effective changes made.

It comes as the biggest ever investigation into maternity services is currently being held at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, where a ‘toxic’ culture of repeated failings by doctors, midwives and hospital bosses between 1979 and 2017 was reported last year.

As many as 900 cases of potential poor care of mothers and babies now being reviewed over the past 40 years.

Another independent investigation is also being held into maternity services at the East Kent NHS Trust after it was revealed there had been 15 possible avoidable deaths since 2011.

Today’s media campaign highlighted the findings of Baby Lifeline’s most recent ‘Mind The Gap’ research into maternity care training, which revealed that;

• Two thirds of maternity trusts don’t make attending training sessions on caring and screening unwell new-born babies mandatory for all staff
• Just 1 in 5 trusts insist all maternity staff be trained on the early recognition and management of severely and critically ill women during childbirth
• Spending on maternity training varies hugely from trust to trust, with some investing more than £370,000 a year, and others as little as £1,051.

“Improving maternity care is something we are hugely passionate about at Hudgell Solicitors and given the recent developments in Shrewsbury and East Kent we felt it was important not only to focus on what has gone wrong, but what can be done to improve care and reduce the numbers of avoidable injuries and deaths to mothers and babies,” Mrs Stevens said.

“We are very grateful to our client Stephanie Broadley who was prepared to share her story. Her baby boy Beau was tragically stillborn in 2018 after errors by her maternity team and her story is truly heartbreaking.

“Sadly, we support far too many families who find themselves in similar positions where mistakes are made, or warning signs are missed when things begin to go wrong. These mistakes cost lives, and there is no greater cost.

“That is why we are proud to support Baby Lifeline in their calls for standardised, mandatory training, particularly in key maternity care areas such as the caring and screening of unwell new-born babies. It is a campaign we will continue to pursue until major improvements in care are seen.”

You can find out more about our campaign ‘Born in Better Care’ which has one single aim – to improve maternity care for women >>

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