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Maternity negligence claims amount to nearly £1 billion

19 November, 2008

Maternity negligence claims amount to nearly £1 billion

Maternity-service related negligence claims accounted for nearly half of the £2 billion paid out for claims against the NHS since 1995.

Posted 19 November 2008


Maternity-service related negligence claims accounted for nearly half of the £2 billion paid out for claims against the NHS since 1995.

Just under £950m has been awarded under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts for obstetric-related claims, which, says the RCM underlines the ‘false economy’ of cutting back on maternity care.

The figures were released by the NHS Litigation Authority following a parliamentary question tabled by Harry Cohen Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, who is also honorary vice-president of the RCM.
    
The RCM’s deputy general secretary Louise Silverton said: ‘We have seen spending on maternity care in some regions yo-yoing in recent years. There was a huge cut in spending on maternity services of £27.5m for 2005/06 to 2006/07, but there was a £36.2m increase in funding from 2006/07 to 2007/08. This cycle of deep cuts in funding followed by a sudden splurge in funding is like a year of financial drought followed by a funding flash flood. People running maternity services need certainty in funding to plan services.’

She added: ‘We are in the middle of a baby boom. England saw 90,000 more babies were born last year than in 2001. What those running maternity services don’t need is budgets going down as often as they go up. They need to see reliable and sustained growth in investment in maternity care into the future. And they need to see evidence that the £330m of extra maternity care spending promised by the government is getting through to the frontline. Otherwise, we are failing mothers and babies.’

The answer to the parliamentary question can be viewed at: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm081014/text/81014w0036.htm#0810158000023

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