Maternity Claims

Maternity Service - 11 May 2018

The government has acknowledged the shortage of midwives and the impact this is having on maternity services by announcing its plan to create 3000 places on midwifery training courses over the next four years (with an extra 650 places expected to be created next year).

It is estimated that 15 babies are stillborn or die soon after birth every day in the UK, in addition to those who suffer brain injuries at birth.  Whilst many of these are tragically unavoidable Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt concedes that ‘continuity of carers’ could potentially save 700 babies lives a year and prevent a further 500 from being born with brain damage, but to achieve this ‘it needs more midwives’.  His ongoing ambition is to make the NHS ‘the safest place in the world to give birth’ and halve the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries during birth by 2025.

Whilst these moves to increase the number of midwives are welcomed by the Royal College of Midwives the concern remains that the level of care in the interim remains compromised and there is the additional concern at the number of trained midwives leaving the profession and the risk a major source of recruitment to fill these gaps from abroad may potentially be significantly impacted by Brexit.

But as Jenny Shone, a clinical negligence lawyer points out, ‘the concern remains that a significant number of deaths and injuries arising out of pregnancy, labour and neonatal care are still occurring which could have been avoided had expectant mothers been appropriately reviewed, monitored and managed throughout their pregnancy and labour.’

The impact of this on the lives of families is devastating as we see in the work that we do in managing cases for families with severely disabled infants who face a life of uncertainty in terms of provision of daily care and support.

We at Higgs and Sons with the help of specialist medical experts and experienced barristers work tirelessly to help such families understand and come to terms with what went wrong and why.  Where this was as a result of negligent care, we look to obtain compensation to provide a secure future for these vulnerable children and peace of mind for parents conscious that these care needs will continue long beyond their ability to provide for them.

Medical Injury UK can assist in bringing claims for negligent care in pregnancy, labour and birth delivery.

If you or a family member has been affected by negligence in this context, contact our specialist solicitors on 0345 111 5050 or email



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