Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists publish Each Baby Counts Report.

Fairweathers’ Solicitor Steevi Henderson reviews important findings of key study into preventable injuries to babies during deliveries.

In 2014 the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists launched a long term quality improvement programme with the aim to halve the number of babies who die or who are left with severe brain damage as a result of preventable incidents by 2020.

In June 2017 they released a report summarising their findings surrounding baby deaths and severe brain injuries in 2015.

They found that 1,136 babies died or suffered severe brain injuries as a result of preventable incidents in 2015.

They reported that the 1,136 babies included 854 with severe brain injuries, 156 babies who suffered early neonatal deaths and 126 babies who died intrapartum.

Only 727 of these incidents were adequately reported.

In 76% of the 727 reports, at least one of the reviewers concluded that the outcome might have been different if different treatment or care had been given.

Parents were only invited to be involved in 34% of the 727 reports.

23% of the recommendations made in these reports were aimed at individual healthcare providers.

The report concludes by recommending changes in the use of, and compliance with, the guidelines surrounding fetal monitoring during labour and cooling following delivery. It also makes recommendations to reduce human error including staff being told to feel ‘empowered’ to ask another staff member for their opinion / for advice.

The full report can be found at:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/research–audit/each-baby-counts-2015-summary-report-june-2017.pdf.

Steevi Henderson, Solicitor at Fairweathers Solicitors LLP, commented:-

“The facts speak for themselves in this report; 1,136 potential preventable baby deaths and brain injuries, 854 with severe brain injuries, only 727 adequately reported (meaning 409 were not) and only 34% of parents invited to be involved in the reporting process. We can only hope that with the help of this report maternity services will improve and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will be able to meet their target by significantly reducing the number of preventable incidents.”

At Fairweathers Solicitors LLP we are sadly often faced with parents of babies who have died or babies who have suffered severe brain injury as a result of a preventable incident. If you or a loved one have been through a similar experience then please do not hesitate to phone us free on 0800 999 5585, request a call back or submit your case details.