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Posted on 22nd December 2017

One In Five Births Have A Maternity Blunder

Between April 2015 and March 2017 there were 276,000 mistakes made by hospital staff which is the same as one in every 5 births.


Whilst the majority of the mistakes were minor or classed as near misses almost 25% of mistakes had caused an injury to either the mother or the baby. In 288 cases, the mistakes caused the death of the mum or child.


Describing the figures as “shocking”, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that improving the care given to new mums and babies was a “top priority”. He commented “Mistakes in maternity care can lead to heart-breaking tragedies for mothers and babies.”


Although Jeremy Hunt thought it was encouraging that hospitals were being honest about the mistakes, the charity National Childbirth Trust (NCT) commented that maternity care was “in crisis”


The figures provided by NHS Improvement, an organisation responsible for overseeing NHS Foundation Trusts show

  • 276767 maternity mistakes were made
  • 63380 mistakes lead to injury to either the mother or the baby
  • 288 mistakes lead to death
  • 132 trusts reported their mistakes

The mistakes include delays in obtaining medication and incomplete medical records through to brain damage due to oxygen starvation and life threatening conditions not being diagnosed.




Maternity mistakes are amongst the biggest compensation payments made by the NHS where £1.9bn of compensation claims were brought against hospital staff.


The government is working hard to reduce the compensation payments by reforming current laws. They seek to impose cost restrictions on claimant solicitors instead of addressing the failings of medical staff and NHS Resolution who systematically fight every compensation claim even if the claim is un-defendable.


The actions of NHS Resolution directly and needlessly increase claimant’s costs.


The vast sums of money wasted by NHS Resolution and spent by the Government reforming the laws could be used to provide better training for all medical staff. This in turn will reduce the number of mistakes made and compensation claims brought against the NHS.


If you or a loved one have been injured by the actions of medical staff and that injury could have been avoided, you may have grounds to make a compensation claim. Call us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.