Maternity units in denial when births go wrong

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Dr Bill Kirkup is looking at a series of failings at East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust following the death of up to 15 babies.

The investigation is being assisted by experts across the fields of obstetrics, midwifery, neonatal medicine, clinical governance and information management. Dr Kirkup is determined to look into what happened in each case to determine the failures, which lead to the “unnecessary deaths.”
He reports that 38% of maternity units require improvement for safety. In similar inquiries, Dr Kirkup uncovered that some units “actively conceal” mistakes and become defensive when births go wrong. Professor Baker of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) comments that this is a “systematic problem” and instead of learning from mistakes, health workers blame each other, which is causing a danger to patients.

Chantae Clark, Paralegal in the Medical Negligence team as Ashtons Legal comments: “It is incredibly sad to hear that these failings have resulted in avoidable deaths but unfortunately, this is something we too often deal with at Ashtons. It is important to remember that this is not about blaming individual health workers but instead should be about identifying what went wrong and learning from those mistakes, putting those families affected at the heart of the investigations. Before any improvements can be made, we need to see the “blame culture” eradicated from the failing units.” 

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