Distraught families in the north west of England are making use of the services provided by personal injury solicitors after several of them decided to sue the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust for serious medical negligence.
The hospital trust has already been it must improve its standards of care or face closure. It is also being scrutinised over high mortality rates and an appointment system that is in so much disarray that patients suffer delays in their treatment.
UHMBT was not the only NHS trust to make the headlines last week. The Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust was accused of abuse and unprofessional behaviour in a maternity unit where five mothers did not survive childbirth during an 18 month period.
Inspectors were horrified to hear a story about a woman with contractions being turned away by midwives. In another episode, a woman in labour was told that if she didn’t hurry up, she would be cut.
The Care Quality Commission has been conducting spot checks on UK hospitals and the results of their investigations are not good. Earlier this year, 20% of hospitals were bound to be breaching the law by leaving patients unwashed and hungry.
The Royal College of Midwives’ deputy general secretary, Louise Silverton, has admitted that deficiencies exist throughout the maternity system.