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Medical negligence

Maternity negligence inquests

We share how to navigate maternity negligence inquests with our expert medical negligence solicitors.

What is an inquest?

An inquest is a court hearing that takes place to investigate how someone has died. A coroner, who leads the inquest investigation, will only initiate an inquiry into someone’s death if that person has died because of:

  • A violent or unnatural death
  • An unknown cause
  • Or while they were in state detention or custody

When is an inquest required for maternity negligence?

Unfortunately, poor medical care can lead to severe harm, or in some cases, death. In such instances, the coroner is likely to be notified, and if the circumstances of the death align with the three categories mentioned above, an inquest will be initiated.

For instance, if a previously fit and healthy mother dies following childbirth, it is probable that a coroner would investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

Also, if a healthy baby dies during or following childbirth, it is also probable that a coroner would investigate the circumstances surrounding their death

Operation Bramber

In recent times, the Royal Sussex County Hospital has come under intense scrutiny, facing a police investigation known as Operation Bramber. The tragic death of two-day-old Abigail Fowler Miller has further drawn attention to the hospital's maternity care failings, sparking nationwide concern.

Operation Bramber, a formal police investigation, is looking into several deaths at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. The investigation is also looking into allegations of cover-up and medical negligence. While the full extent of the investigation is undisclosed and unknown, reports suggest it may involve as many as 100 cases, with 40 resulting in fatalities. Widespread concern arises from the fact the accused surgeons have not been suspended, adding to the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing coroner's inquest.

The recent coronial inquest into Abigail Fowler Miller's death exposed failures within the Royal Sussex County Hospital’s maternity services. Despite her mother's worsening condition during labour, maternity staff repeatedly assured her over the phone that she did not need to come to the hospital. Tragically, Abigail was delivered by emergency caesarean in the hospital foyer, and she passed away two days later. This heartbreaking incident highlights the urgent need for accountability and improved maternity care.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by the poor standards of care at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, you are not alone. To assist those affected, our team of leading inquest solicitors, are on hand to offer expert advice. If you’ve been affected by the Royal Sussex County Hospital failings, contact Nisha Sharma on 0330 995 5687 or

Can you challenge a coroner's inquest?

Many individuals wonder if they can challenge a coroner's inquest, seeking justice for the medical negligence which resulted in the death of a loved one. You can challenge a coroner's decision and our dedicated team understands the complexities surrounding such cases. If you find yourself in this situation, it's crucial to have the right support.

How can Slater and Gordon help?

Our experienced inquest solicitors are specialists and have a deep understanding of the challenges families face during these difficult times. We provide empathetic representation, ensuring fair inquest hearings and thorough investigations. If you believe you have a case, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are your legal support network and are committed to supporting you through this challenging journey.

There are also several charities and support organisations we are proud to partner with which are ideal for families who’ve suffered bereavement. Visit our page on coping with bereavement for more information.

For more information on inquests, don’t hesitate to contact us here

Discuss switching your case with our experts

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869
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