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Eight stillbirths cost Southampton NHS trust more than £530k

Eight stillbirths cost Southampton NHS trust more than £530k

The figure for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has emerged following a Freedom of Information request submitted by law firm Mayo Wynne Baxter.

Southern Daily Echo

The Trust paid out an average of almost £26,000 in each of the eight cases, plus a total of £327,000 in legal fees.

Mayo Wynne Baxter has released the data as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs until October 15.

Melanie Minter, the firm's head of clinical negligence, said: “While the Ockenden Report focused on failings in Shrewsbury and Telford, its findings appear indicative of maternity services across the country.

"Failures in care are being repeated because lessons are not learned. There has to be change and there has to be candour when mistakes are made."

Ms Minter said examples of negligence included failure to properly monitor mothers during their pregnancy, failure to properly monitor pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and failure to diagnose and treat an inflection.

She added: "Clinical negligence claims play a critical role in safeguarding patients against negligent treatment.

"In all my cases, clients are predominantly seeking to establish the truth, an apology and to ensure healthcare professionals learn from their own tragic experiences.

“Suffering a stillbirth is extremely traumatic and while no amount of compensation can change the pain negligence causes, one of the key reasons parents decide to make a claim is to ensure they do not suffer financially."

Ms Minter said compensation could help families cope with issues such as loss of earnings, counselling, and funeral expenses.

Gail Byrne, the Trust's chief nursing officer, said: "We are deeply saddened by every loss of pregnancy and life of a baby.

"Every year we safely deliver over 5,000 babies into the arms of their parents. The joy on their faces is the reason everyone in maternity services comes to work, sometimes under the most challenging of circumstances.

“Though thankfully rare, every loss of pregnancy and new born life is a tragedy and, in every instance, we rigorously review and fully investigate the circumstances surrounding it.

"This is a transparent process that ensures full impartially and accountability to enable us to continually learn and improve."

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