Today we welcome news that Government is allocating the NHS an extra £95 million to improve maternity care in all areas of England, including the South-West.

This news follows a report by Donna Ockenden, an independent midwifery expert, who looked at how failings in maternity care had resulted in the avoidable death of numerous babies and mothers at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust over a twenty-year period. The report was damning and identified seven immediate and essential actions needed to improve maternity care services across England.

Here at the North Devon office of Davies and Partners we were saddened, but not surprised, by the contents of this report.

Our main local hospital, North Devon District Hospital, has historically been decried for providing poor maternity care. In 2017 a shocking report was published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, linking the maternity unit in Barnstaple to around 20 incidences of maternity related death or serious harm, dating back to 2008.

Although some improvements to care have been made, the recent CQC inspection noted there was much more work to be done. The maternity unit at North Devon District Hospital is still listed as requiring improvement.

As medical negligence specialists we often act for mothers who have sustained injury during birth or, worse still, sadly lost a child as a result of medical negligence.

We also support children with birth related injuries (such as cerebral palsy or shoulder dystocia) and their families. We work to ensure they get adequate compensation to provide them with the care and support they need for their lifetime.

If you would like to speak to one of our specialist birth injury advisors, please contact Kirrin or James at our North Devon office.