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Stillbirths and neonatal deaths could be avoided with more government investment

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Yesterday marked the second World Patient Safety Day, and this year’s theme shined a light on health worker safety – those on the frontline of the pandemic have been selfless in their sacrifices to care for an ailing global population. What has become ever clearer is that a health system is nothing without those who work within it and that we must prioritise the safety and wellbeing of health workers, because without safe health workers we cannot have safe patients.

Improving maternity safety has been a priority for some time – although rare, when things go wrong the consequences are unthinkable for families and the professionals caring for them. Maternity negligence makes up 50% of the total value of negligence claims across all NHS sectors, according to the latest NHS Resolution annual report and accounts. It states there were claims of around £2.4 billion in 2019/20, which is in the region of £6.5 million a day. This cost says nothing of the suffering families and professionals associated.

However, without investing in the maternity frontline we cannot hope to make integral systemic changes to improve maternity safety and save mothers’ and babies’ lives, writes Sara Ledger, head of research and development at Baby Lifeline in the Independent.

"We owe it to every mother and baby to rigorously and transparently scrutinise the safety of maternity services, which will be in no small way linked to the support staff receive."

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Source: The Independent, 17 September 2020

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