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Over 1000 'adverse events' in women and infants' care in Scotland

More than 1000 investigations have been launched in Scotland over the past decade into adverse events affecting women and infants' healthcare.

Figures obtained by the Herald show that at least 1,032 Significant Adverse Event Reviews (Saers) have been initiated by health boards since 2012 following "near misses" or instances of unexpected harm or death in relation to obstetrics, maternity, gynaecology or neonatal services.

The true figure will be higher as two health boards - Grampian and Orkney - have yet to respond to the freedom of information request, and a number of health boards reported the totals per year as "less than five" to protect patient confidentiality.

Saers are internal health board investigations which are carried out following events that could have, or did, result in major harm or death for a patient.

Major harm is generally classified as long-term disability or where medical intervention was required to save the patient's life. They are intended as learning exercises to establish what went wrong and whether it could have been avoided. Not all Saers find fault with the patient's care, but the objective is to improve safety.

NHS Lanarkshire was only able to provide data from April 2015 onwards, but this revealed a total of 194 Saers - of which 102 related to neonatal or maternity services, and 80 for obstetrics.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry involving NHS Lanarkshire has already been ordered into the deaths of three infants - Leo Lamont and Ellie McCormick in 2019, and Mirabelle Bosch in 2021 - because they had died in "circumstances giving rise to serious public concern".

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Herald, 10 December 2022


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