We heard from the BBC news today that a report that they had finally gained access to, revealed a lack of trust and low staff morale contributing to a series of problems in maternity care at North Devon Health Care NHS Trust between 2013 and 2018.
The Trust (which the Care Quality Commission rates as “Requiring Improvement”) manages five different hospitals. The BBC article startlingly sets out that from as long ago as 2015 the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists were reviewing maternity care, amid "concerns over the working culture".
I have just finished reading Adam Kay’s brilliant memoir “This is Going to Hurt”. Adam was a junior doctor who specialised on obstetrics, and his book is very funny, and very moving. He talks about the physical and emotional exhaustion, and the terrible responsibility of knowing that although obstetrics is mostly about safe outcomes for both mum and baby, there will inevitably be some cases that result in catastrophe such as maternal death, or children with cerebral palsy.
BBC News recently featured a video highlighting one family’s struggle to ensure that the avoidable death of their loved one, Paul Ridd, never happens again. Paul Ridd’s death in 2009 at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital was found by an inquest to have been contributed to by the hospital’s neglect.
The Times yesterday reported on a clinical negligence claim, currently being heard in the High Court, in which a central issue relates to whether or not there is an obligation to tell a pregnant patient that a relative has been diagnosed with a genetic disorder.