Hudgell Solicitors are delighted to be supporting the launch of a new campaign by national mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline for which full details are to be announced at its 35th anniversary gala dinner tonight – and could potentially save hundreds of lives.
Details of the ‘Monitoring for Mums’ Appeal will be announced by charity founder Judy Ledger in front of an audience of senior consultants and professional obstetricians, anaesthetists, neonatologists and midwives representing the NHS across the UK.
Baby Lifeline is a unique national charity supporting the care of pregnant women and new-born babies across the UK and worldwide. It raises funds to purchase much-needed maternity equipment and is one of the leading providers of training to the medical and legal professions, attracting the support of leading health figures who sit on its board. It also boasts high-profile celebrities as patrons, including Sir Ben Kingsley and Dame Judi Dench.
The charity was founded by Mrs Ledger, who qualified as a state registered nurse in 1978 and suffered the heartache of losing her baby during pregnancy not just once, but on three occasions.
She wanted to do something positive to help cope with her grief, and to support the medical professionals who looked after her.
Since launching the charity, she has campaigned to ensure the best care for pregnant women and their babies by helping to provide equipment, specialist training and to support national research projects with the potential to improve the quality of maternity care.
She has received various awards for her work with the charity, including a Pride of Britain Award for fundraising in 2010, and hopes this new campaign will make a hugely positive impact on further improving maternity care across the UK.
The launch of the appeal – which looks to improve both equipment and training on UK hospital wards – comes as the Government has targeted halving the number of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies by 2030, with a 20 per cent reduction by 2020.
A report last year concluded that the lives of hundreds of unborn babies could be saved if their mothers were given better care during pregnancy.
More recent research by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) claimed between 500 and 800 babies die or acquire severe brain injuries due to something going wrong during labour each year in the UK – more than one a day.
As part of the Monitoring for Mums campaign, people across the UK will be able to raise funds or donate directly to their local hospital maternity units via a new dedicated website, helping them to purchase much needed equipment which hospital Trusts have themselves identified as being required to improve their standards of maternity care.
Each hospital has its own dedicated fund-raising target and details of the equipment they need on the campaign website. Equipment funding requests have so far totalled more than £4.5m.
The campaign will also look to address in-house training issues and support for UK maternity issues, following research conducted with 125 NHS Trusts.
Amanda Stevens, Group Head of Legal Practice at Hudgell Solicitors, worked as the manager of a maternity unit at a London hospital before entering the legal profession, and says the campaign can tackle the key areas needed to improve standards on maternity units across the UK.
“The launch of this new campaign is very exciting and one we have been delighted to support at Hudgell Solicitors, as not only can it bring the issue into the national spotlight, but also hopefully lead to better maternity equipment and training across the UK,” she said.
“In my legal profession I personally have seen far too many cases in which lives have been lost or severely impaired because of poor monitoring equipment in hospitals or maternity staff not being fully trained in using the equipment effectively.
“There are so many excellent midwives and clinicians who go above and beyond their duty and are completely committed to providing the best care, but they are working in fear of something going wrong because they don’t have the equipment they need or colleagues lack the relevant, updated training.
“It is simply unfair to put this pressure on those working in maternity units, and to place mothers and babies at risk during pregnancy and birth. We always campaign for improvements in standards and training, but often it is pushed down the priority list by managers who have budgets at the forefront of their minds.”
The newly launched Monitoring For Mums charity website has been produced with the support of Hudgell Solicitors.
Mrs Ledger added: “The support of Hudgell Solicitors for our Monitoring for Mums microsite has been invaluable to the appeal. Without this, we would not have been able to set up individual campaigns for each hospital, allowing people to support their maternity unit directly.
“The site will make a dramatic difference to the amount raised towards safer births for mums and babies across the UK, and we could never have done it without them.”
Baby LifeLine’s ‘Monitoring For Mums’ appeal will be officially launched at the charity’s 35th anniversary Gala Dinner at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on Thursday, September 8.