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Mothers and babies being put at risk due to unsafe NHS maternity services, report says

Mothers and babies are being put at risk because maternity services are still providing unsafe care, despite a series of scandals that have cost lives, the NHS ombudsman has warned.

More tragedies will occur unless the health service takes decisive action to put an end to repeated and deeply ingrained problems which lead to “the same mistakes over and over again”, he said.

Rob Behrens, the NHS ombudsman for England, voiced his concerns when he launched a report on Tuesday which details the failings several women experienced while giving birth. It also sets out the lessons the NHS needs to learn, but Behrens claimed that too many trusts were not doing so.

Behrens voiced alarm that, although efforts have been made to improve the care mothers and their children receive, progress is too slow – and that means patients remain in danger.

His report says that: “We recognise that people working in maternity services want to provide high-quality care. Culture, systems and processes can get in the way of achieving that goal.

“But improvements are not happening quickly enough, and we have not seen sustainable change. We must do more to make services safer for everyone.”

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Source: The Guardian, 28 March 2023

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