Baby Loss Awareness Week: Tackling Isolation During Covid-19

Author:
Rebecca Brunton
Medical Negligence Solicitor
Date:
12/10/2020

This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week, a national campaign to mark the lives of babies who died during pregnancy or during or shortly after birth.

It’s vitally important that families coping with such a loss can access the care and support they need. But of course, the coronavirus pandemic has made this much harder for many, with social distancing rules meaning most can’t even get a comforting hug from their loved ones if they live in a different household.

That’s why this year’s Baby Loss Awareness Week is focusing on the theme of isolation and loneliness, encouraging those affected by baby loss to come together, learn about what support is available and be reminded that they’re not alone. To find out more and get involved see the Baby Loss Awareness Week website.

Improving Care and Support

Another key aim of Baby Loss Awareness Week is to drive changes in policy and improve the level of care and support for families affected by the loss of a baby, at home, at work and in every other aspect of their lives.

As Medical Negligence Solicitors, we regularly see the devastating impact a baby’s death can have on those left behind, so this is something that matters to us deeply. With every compensation claim we handle, our aim isn’t just to deliver the best outcomes for our clients, but also to make sure the NHS can learn lessons from what has happened.

Working with the NHS rather than against it is very important to us, which is why we often encourage options such as mediation to settle claims. By setting up face-to-face meetings between our clients and NHS clinicians and leaders, both sides can tell their stories in a non-confrontational setting, and reach a settlement that each is happy with.

It can give bereaved families get a valuable chance to share their experiences, and healthcare professionals can get a unique insight into what went wrong, and what can be done to stop it happening again.

In some instances, it may be a rare, one-off mistake that led to the tragic loss of a baby, and in others, we may highlight wider failings across the healthcare system. But in both cases, we have a precious opportunity to try to improve patient safety, and hopefully prevent families going through similar tragedies in the future.

Baby Loss Case Study

We represented the parents of a young baby who died just hours after she was born. Our client was admitted to Bassetlaw District General Hospital to be induced, as she was nearly two weeks past her due date.

Following the birth, the baby was taken away by medical staff, and a few hours later, her parents were told that she would not survive. The family later approached our Medical Negligence Solicitors for help as they wanted answers from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust later acknowledged that mistakes were made that led to the baby’s death, including a failure to detect hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) during labour. The case led to recommendations being made to the Trust, including better training and support of midwives, carrying out second checks of CTGs and reviewing local Trust guidelines into classifying CTGs.

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