Report highlights the failings at local hospital

17th October 2017

Report highlights the failings at local hospital

A recently published report into maternity provision at Russell’s Hall hospital has highlighted that the number of recorded incidents between April 2014 and December 2015 was higher than at any other West Midlands maternity unit.  

The report which was released this week also highlighted failings within the unit that resulted in five cases of avoidable harm and one death.

“This report caused alarm, not only within the NHS but for those families for whom Russell’s Hall is their local maternity provision,” comments Jenny Shone an Associate in Higgs & Sons Clinical Negligence team which works to support families who have been affected due to medical issues.

“As a result of the report’s findings, in 2016 the NHS established the Maternity Quality Improvement Board to review the background to these incidents and to see where lessons could be learned. The Board was tasked with ensuring that action is taken to address failings and improve services giving families affected the chance to contribute to the improvements in the care offered to future service users. The Board flagged up concerns, set out in the report which revealed failings in several areas including

  • the monitoring of babies’ hearts rates that were ‘misinterpreted’ putting safety at risk
  • staff being slow to respond in urgent situations
  • a lack of senior paediatric support to assist with resuscitation at complex births
  • failings in the processes for reporting on serious incidents which meant that there were missed opportunities to prevent risk to babies in the future."

Diane Wake, the Chief Executive of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust said the report had been published to ensure that the findings of the Board were ‘open and transparent’. She gave reassurance that: ‘The Dudley Group, which runs Russell’s Hall Hospital has since introduced a comprehensive improvement plan for maternity services which addresses the issues identified and provides assurance about the safety and effectiveness of the maternity services in Dudley’.

“Mrs Wake has indicated that she is ‘incredibly disappointed’ that some patients and their families had been let down,” continues Jenny Shone.  “She has said that that ‘if we can offer further support to those patients affected we would want to do that’.

“Whilst the public may be reassured by such sentiments, this will be little consolation for those families whose lives may have been dramatically impacted by the past maternity failings. 

“Our Clinical Negligence team at Higgs & Sons are all too familiar with the long term impact such failings can have on the lives of the babies, mothers and families affected by poor treatment at such a vulnerable time. We have many years of experience in helping these families obtain the support they need in managing their lives as a result of adverse outcomes.”

If you have been affected by simuilar issues please contact: Jenny Shone, or another member of the Clinical Negligence team.


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