We talked to Wales This Week recently about the maternity services delivered at the Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles hospitals, run by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, which were placed into special measures in 2019.
The programme included testimony from families affected by the death of their baby or catastrophic birth injuries while under the health board’s care. What they told viewers is sadly testimony that we hear time and again from families following a serious maternity incident – they are not listened to and they do not have answers.
This heart-breaking reality affects too many families who are not only left profoundly traumatised following medical errors that could have been avoided, but are also living with the upset of not having what happened properly acknowledged and addressed.
Pregnancy and birth, while the most natural thing in the world, is also one of the most vulnerable times for both mother and baby. Careful, and consistent, medical monitoring throughout is vital for the safety of both.
Sometimes a mother may have a perfectly normal, uneventful pregnancy but there are signs just before, during or after the birth of their baby that medical staff should have picked up indicating different care is required to ensure patient safety.
On some occasions there is information and signs that the pregnancy is high risk which provides medical staff with essential clues as to the correct course of medical treatment or intervention.
When the red flags during a pregnancy and birth are not recognised, either through a failure to adequately monitor the patient, a failure to properly interpret test or scan results and / or a failure to act in an appropriate and timely manner, the significant consequences are irreversible.
As Diane Rostron said on Wales This Week, a catastrophically injured baby is a catastrophically injured family. The ripples go on and on impacting every member of the family, and every aspect of their day-to-day lives changing the course of the future they had dreamed and planned for.
It is not acceptable that families have the joy of starting or growing their family taken away from them. It is also unacceptable that following a serious incident that families are left feeling unheard and have no answers so they can understand what went wrong.
There is no closure for families in these circumstances and the pain just continues.
Our team of birth injury experts will not accept when a thorough investigation has not been carried out to explain to a family why they have lost their baby or why their baby has to live with permanent, multiple disabilities.
We will not accept that a baby fatality or catastrophic injury was ‘one of those things’ without a thorough investigation explaining exactly why it could not have been avoided.
We refuse to accept that families should go away and accept what happened to them without adequate answers being provided by the medical specialists entrusted with their care.
We also do not accept that families who have significantly suffered following a preventable serious incident should struggle without the compensation that they are entitled to.
Our experts have represented families in this complex area of law for more than 25 years. Birth injuries are complicated and require both the right medical and legal experts to get to the heart of what happened leading to an adverse outcome.
We fight for families who have been left feeling that they have no voice. When medical professionals have failed in their duty of care, and failed to acknowledge their life changing mistakes, we are here to listen, and to help.
We are currently representing several families left devastated following inadequate care at the Royal Glamorgan or Prince Charles hospitals. We have also secured £26 million in compensation for two families in the past two years following birth injuries while under the care of Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB.
We understand, and are here to help. To contact our team, click here.