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Medical Negligence

Baby loss awareness and prevention

We outline how our team strive to improve the care and support for anyone affected by baby loss.

12 October 2022

It is estimated that, in the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. In 2021 alone, 2,866 stillbirths in the UK, meaning around eight babies are still born ever day. These are deeply upsetting statistics, and they show just how many mothers and families are affected by the loss of a baby.

Baby Loss Awareness Week will take place from the 9th-15th of October 2023 and is fundamentally important to those who’ve been affected by baby loss to remember their loved ones as well as improve healthcare services to prevent future losses. The event is held by Baby Loss Awareness Week Alliance, who fight tirelessly to raise awareness of baby loss, and provide much needed support within the community.

How we support mothers who’ve lost their baby due to negligent care

At Slater and Gordon, we work every day with mothers and families who have unfortunately lost their babies due to negligent medical and maternity care. While the majority of those offering maternity services in the UK are amazing at what they do, mistakes can be made, and the effects of these mistakes can be devastating.

Every case is unique

Our medical negligence specialists work with women, and their partners, offering legal advice and support throughout difficult times. We understand that every case is unique, which is why we also have in-house midwives and nurses on our team to offer expert medical advice with compassion and sensitivity.

We recently represented a mother who tragically lost her baby due to failures by medical professionals to plot her baby’s weight on GROW charts, and in turn failures to notice a slowing down of growth. Experiencing such loss can be extremely difficult to comprehend and openly discuss, and our experts always act with sympathy, compassion, and patience when guiding our clients through the process.

Our partnership with Group B Strep Support (GBSS)

Because of our experience within this area, we know just how devastating it can be for the bereaved families, and the importance of them having access to the best support during this time. We’re proud partners with a number of amazing charities and organisations looking to make healthcare safer. One of these partners is of Group B Strep Support (GBSS), the world’s leading charity working to eradicate group B Strep infection in babies. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria posing a significant risk of injury and/or death to new-born babies. It’s one of the most common causes of severe infection in new-born babies, and when mistakes happen in the diagnosis and treatment of GBS infection it can be fatal. Their amazing work involves actively campaigning to improve awareness of group B Strep infection and for the introduction of effective and accurate testing.

Attending Baby Lifeline’s National Maternity Safety Conference

Our medical negligence experts also regularly attend educational conferences and events, such as Baby Lifeline’s National Maternity Safety Conference, seeking to promote collaboration and the sharing knowledge between hundreds of organisations across the maternity world, to ultimately improve patient safety.

How we’re working to develop the prevention of baby loss in the UK

As well as expert lawyers specialising in the field of medical negligence, we also have trained nurses and midwives on our team with the knowledge and expertise to provide the best service possible for our clients. Our midwives provide invaluable support to both our lawyers and clients throughout the claims process and bring over 35 years of medical expertise to the team.

This provides us with a unique ability to support our clients from an emotional perspective, should they need this, and offer tailored assistance with explaining the medical terminology that comes as part of the claims process. On top of listening to bereaved parents’ experiences, and providing emotional support, the role of our midwives means that these findings can be fed directly back to the NHS, in efforts to safeguard future patients.

Raising awareness

Speaking on her role in Slater and Gordon, and how this can lead to direct change among medical professionals, our litigation midwife, Kim Burns, said: “We are pro-active, we go into maternity units to present to midwives and obstetricians on what are our most common types of cases and how litigation can be avoided. This provides reassurance to them, but is also a way that they can channel their own learning and make them aware of how to prevent baby loss and also how to respond should it sadly occur.”

Our experts recognise the reality of unavoidable baby loss within maternity care. However, speaking on this, Kim added: “We will unfortunately never be able to eradicate baby loss 100%, but by engaging with health professionals and parents, and informing them of familiar trends, we can go some way to raising awareness and hopefully facilitate change."

How can we help parents who’ve suffered baby loss?

If you’ve experienced baby loss, and believe that this could be due to maternity negligence care in any way, you need a specialist legal team on your side. At Slater and Gordon, our experts are nominated as finalists for Clinical Negligence Team of the Year award in the Personal Injury Awards 2022, and work with some of the best case managers and medical experts in the field. We’ll always ensure you get the best possible care and assistance both during your case, and after your case has settled.

Contact us

We’ve been helping injured clients for over 80 years, with a dedicated team of solicitors specialising in medical negligence claims. These claims can be complex, so it’s important to get in touch with an expert solicitor as soon as possible to discuss your potential claim. To speak to an expert today and learn more about your options going forward, call us today on 0330 041 5869 for a confidential consultation, or contact us online here.

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