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Excellent article about the cost to the NHS of negligence in childbirth

11 replies

WendyWeber · 23/09/2007 12:01


There are some very sad and scary stories

The new president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists sounds as if he is at least keen to make changes (whether it'll happen remains to be seen but he makes a lot of sense in financial terms, let alone human):

'The cases where a baby suffers lack of oxygen, which can lead to brain damage, is one or two per 1,000 births in the UK. If a hospital delivers 5,000 babies a year, it may have 10 such cases a year, each of which could cost it [at least] £3m', explains Arulkumaran. 'Even if one of those cases could be avoided by having additional staff, you are going to save £3m. Spending £1m a year would buy you two consultants and 15-20 midwives.'

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edam · 23/09/2007 12:17

He does make a very good point, and thank God someone is saying it. Because maternity services really are the Cinderella of the NHS (alongside geriatrics and mental health) - hospital bosses can neglect pregnant women and new mothers without much fear of bad publicity.

But we also need many more midwives. And he suggests we need more consultants on duty until 10pm - we actually need more consultants and midwives through the night when most women give birth and when most birth injuries are most likely (above and beyond what you'd expect merely from numbers going up).

WendyWeber · 23/09/2007 12:59

The last 2 times I had a baby there were 3 consultants (total) at one hospital and 4 at the other. That's a lot of night shifts each.

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2shoes · 23/09/2007 15:02

can't read the whole link as to close to home. but thanks for posting it as was interested in the bit I read.

edam · 23/09/2007 15:09

And the answer to that is to employ more staff.

WendyWeber · 23/09/2007 16:34

Oh I know, edam, but that's an awful lot of hours to cover, esp out in the sticks (much less of a problem in the big cities)

There are some consultant midwives now, aren't there? I know they couldn't do caesarians, but if there was always one of those on duty (hands-on duty, not admin) with the authority to summon a surgeon urgently, that would make a big difference, wouldn't it?

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WendyWeber · 23/09/2007 16:38

I knew there are quite a few families on MN who have been affected by this, 2shoes - I didn't know yours was one

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2shoes · 23/09/2007 16:46

WW very affected by it. that is why the fact that a 16 yr old has one a case gives me hope. 7 years into ours.

WendyWeber · 23/09/2007 16:49

Good luck with yours then, 2shoes.

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2shoes · 23/09/2007 16:57

think we will need bucket loads as mot cases come down to a matter of minutes!!

edam · 23/09/2007 18:15

That might be an idea, WW. But we also need more midwives, full stop. More registrars, too, probably.

Really stupid thing is about eight or nine years ago they trained loads of obstetricians - after 'Choosing Childbirth' report - but then didn't have consultant jobs for many of them. So a lot of junior docs who were planning to be obs had to go into other specialties or leave the country after years of training.

maisym · 23/09/2007 19:23

the hospitals have the monitors and technology - they use them but then don't bother checking what's happening - terrible situation. How can it just be left to continue?

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