With the completion of false self-assessments affecting some maternity units, a number of hospitals are now having to pay back millions of pounds to regulators. Some of the hospitals in question were already facing suspicion amid medical negligence claims and allegations of avoidable baby deaths, but it has since been confirmed that some 14 NHS trusts reportedly failed regarding at least one of the safety actions recommended. Of the 7 required to pay fines, each trust reportedly falsely claimed it had a safe maternity unit.
While the news may come as a shock to some, for those affected by poor maternity care, this development may be unsurprising. Indeed, figures have already shown just how much harm has been suffered by families due to negligent maternity services. In 2018-19, for medical negligence claims brought against the NHS, 60% of claims reportedly involved maternity care.
If you have been adversely affected by poor maternity care, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim. To discuss your case and find out more about how we could help you, do not hesitate to contact us for free, no-obligation advice.
Safe maternity unit claims – how have hospitals failed safety assessments?
Seven trusts that reportedly provided false self-assessments with regards to maternity services are understood to be being forced to pay out £8.5m in total, but why has this happened?
Aiming to tackle the potential dangers in maternity care services, NHS Resolution initiated a maternity incentive scheme that started back in 2018. The scheme set out 10 key safety factors that were to be evaluated in maternity units. After passing safety requirements based on self-assessments, hospitals can then receive funds from NHS Resolution.
In reality, a number of hospitals reportedly falsified results, some on more than one occasion. For instance, East Kent Hospitals University Trust, the Trust that is subject to an inquiry concerning infant deaths, was found to have wrongly claimed it had a safe maternity unit in two separate years, even when asked to verify its self-assessment.
What can the victims do?
As mentioned above, a large number of victims have already brought maternity care claims against hospitals and doctors. However, given the confirmation of 14 units’ reported lack of safety, we believe other victims may end up having to claim the compensation they deserve for negligent care.
If you are among those who have been adversely impacted by maternity care, we may be able to help you to bring a claim against those responsible. We know that, in the worst of cases, poor maternity care can result in the death of a mother or a baby, which is why justice is paramount. Every mother has the right to give birth in a safe maternity unit. There may be nothing we can do to turn back the clock, but if you want us to help you to achieve some form of justice for you or a loved one, we will do all that we can.
Medical negligence specialists
Having worked in medical negligence claims for many years, we have the specialist knowledge to pursue what are often complex cases. We have represented victims for claims in relation to high-profile medical scandals, such as those related to vaginal mesh and PIP breast implants, so we are always aiming to tackle the injustices affecting patients across the health service.
If you have any questions about making a claim, please do not hesitate to contact us for free, no-obligation advice should you need to.
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