Becoming a parent is one of the most wonderful experiences life has to give. Historically, it was often feared by women due to the health worries involved for both mother and child. Nowadays that care has come along way. It has continually been under review and for most it is now a safe experience.
In 2016 Baroness Julia Cumberledge was commissioned by the NHS to prepare a report following the awful failings in the Morcambe Bay NHS Trust. The report made concluding recommendations which underpin maternity policies in England. The paper set out a clear vision: ‘for maternity services across England to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly.’ It is the task of the Maternity Transformation Programme to implement those recommendations.
Continually reviewing progress which is documented in the ‘Next Steps on the five year forward view’ it is hoped maternity wards and care continue striving forward, implementing the recommendations. The ‘Long Term Plan’ makes a bold target that ‘the NHS will accelerate action to achieve a 50% reduction in stillbirth, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality and serious brain injury by 2025.’
Sadly, however it has been accepted that the Better Births ambitions have not all been implemented as successfully as hoped. Admittedly COVID-19 has ‘side swiped’ those efforts but critics have slammed its success. For example, the hope that the same midwife can provide continuity of care has only been achieved in 51% of cases. With reports that shortages of staff, the risk of burnout and midwives not wanting to be on call being the reason for this failure.
It is likely the other ambitious aims will be just that but we will be sure to keep a close eye on this.
If you have experienced failings in your maternity care, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To discuss what has occurred with a legal specialist in medical negligence, please call 0845 287 0939 or complete our online contact form and a member of our team will get in touch.