Parliamentary Inquiry on birth trauma – submissions open until 6 February 2024

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Over the last month, UK maternity services have barely been out of the news.

A brief review of the BBC website shows ongoing investigations into baby deaths in Lanarkshire, Swansea Bay and Medway. A House of Lords debate on the issue of maternity services took place on 25 January 2024, and a BBC Panorama programme looking into inadequate maternity services at Gloucester Hospitals NHS Trust aired on 29 January 2024.

The Parliamentary debate on 25 January 2024 mainly centred around the recruitment and retention of midwives, supporting them in their roles and staffing levels across Trust maternity centres. Baroness Donaghy raised her concerns regarding birth trauma and how this is recognised and dealt with by clinical staff.

It is difficult for families to feel safe in the hands of their maternity services, given the ongoing press attention. One of the main responses that we have from our clients who have received poor maternity care, leading them to investigate a claim against NHS Trusts, is that they did not feel listened to by the clinical teams. Time and time again, clients speak of raising their worries with staff, only to have their concerns dismissed, resulting in their worst nightmares coming true.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Birth Trauma has recently launched a parliamentary inquiry, assisted by the Birth Trauma Association charity. The aim of the inquiry is to collect information and review the reasons for the prevalence of birth trauma in the UK.

Families and clinicians who have been affected by birth trauma have been invited to put their stories forward. The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is 6 February 2024. There is more information regarding the inquiry itself and how to make submissions: Make Birth Better – Public Inquiry.

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