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Found 35 results
  1. News Article
    Changes to maternity services during the pandemic, including the mandatory redeployment of midwives and doctors to care for infected patients, may have affected the care given to women who had stillborn babies, a Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) investigation has found. The safety watchdog launched an investigation after the number of stillbirths after the onset of labour increased between April and June 2020. During the three months there were 45 stillbirths compared to 24 in the same period in 2019. The HSIB launched a probe examining the care of 37 cases. Among its fi
  2. Content Article
    Safety recommendations HSIB made eight safety recommendations as a result of this investigation, five to NHS England and NHS Improvement, one to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, one to NHSX, and one to DHSC. HSIB recommends that future iterations of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ guidance clarify the management of a reported change in fetal movements during the third trimester of pregnancy with due regard to national policy. HSIB recommends that NHS England and NHS Improvement leads work to develop a process to ensure consistency
  3. News Article
    Beth and Dan Wankiewicz want answers about why their baby son Clay died last year, shortly after his birth at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Despite a low-risk pregnancy, the family say Clay died from multiple skull fractures. Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust said "the provision and delivery of high-quality" care is a priority. The BBC has found a 2016 review flagging concerns about the hospital's maternity care was never published. The report - one of scores of unpublished reports discovered by a Freedom of Information request by BBC's Panorama programme - highlighted signif
  4. News Article
    Nearly one in five pregnant women in the UK were forced to wear a face covering during labour, according to research by a charity, despite official health guidance saying they should not be asked to do so. Women described feeling unable to breathe, having panic attacks or even being sick during labour because they were made to wear a face covering. The research was carried out by the charity Pregnant Then Screwed, who surveyed 936 women who gave birth during December. It found that 160 of those who went into labour were made to wear a face covering. This goes against current joint UK
  5. News Article
    There was a "gross failure in basic care" which led to a baby being starved of oxygen during birth, a coroner said. Zak Ezra Carter died at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, two days after being born in July 2018 at Ystrad Fawr Hospital in Caerphilly county. Gwent coroner Caroline Saunders said the monitoring of Zak and his mother Adele Thomas fell "well below the standards expected". She said she was reassured the health board had taken steps to improve care. Ms Thomas told the Newport hearing she felt "scared" and staff "didn't care" when she arrived to give birth on 20 July
  6. News Article
    A baby boy was starved of oxygen and died after being left half-delivered for almost a quarter of an hour during a “chaotic” breech birth in an NHS maternity unit. Midwives failed to recognise baby Theo Ellis was in the breech, or bottom first, position until his mother Laura Ellis, 34, was already in advanced labour at Surrey’s Frimley Park Hospital. What followed was a catalogue of errors by midwives and doctors who failed to heed the emergency situation and raised the alarm too late. At one stage a paediatrician was made to stand outside the room by midwives while junior staf
  7. Content Article
    Radio 2 episode (1h:09m:42s into the episode) Further reading: BMJ: Vaginal examinations, consent and COVID-19 (May 2020) Birthrights: How to run a safe and rights respecting maternity service during a pandemic
  8. News Article
    When pharmacist Ifeoma Onwuka, known to her friends as Laura, went into hospital to have her daughter, she and her husband hoped the delivery would go smoothly, and that they would soon be able to take their new arrival home  to meet her siblings.  Onwuka's labor was induced at James Paget University Hospital in Great Yarmouth in late April 2018. Things progressed quickly and there were soon signs that her baby was in distress, causing staff to begin preparations for an emergency Caesarian section, but Onwuka's daughter was born in the recovery room. Shortly after the birth, Onwuka's
  9. News Article
    Women in labour are being denied epidurals by NHS hospitals, amid concern that a “cult of natural childbirth” is leaving rising numbers in agony. Last night, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, promised an investigation, and action to ensure women’s choices were respected, pledging to make the NHS maternity services the world-leader. An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph found hospitals refusing clear requests from mothers-to-be, in breach of official guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Mr Hancock said all expectant mothers should be
  10. News Article
    Hospitals have been refusing requests for caesarean sections during the COVID-19 outbreak despite official guidance and NHS England advice that they should go ahead. Multiple NHS trusts have told women preparing to give birth since March that requests for a caesarean section will not be granted due to the viral pandemic. It has led to accusations from the charity Birthrights that the coronavirus outbreak is being used as an excuse to promote an ideology that more women should have a natural birth. Maria Booker, from Birthrights, told The Independent: “We continue to be contacted
  11. News Article
    When Victoria Gianopoulos-Johnson got a call from her midwife to say her home birth would be cancelled, panic took hold. She says she “lost it” for two days, crying constantly, gripped by uncertainty and then anger. Now she has reached the decision to have a free birth, also known as unassisted childbirth. Maternity rights groups say there has been a rise in the number of women seeking advice about freebirthing owing to pressures on hospitals and new restrictions around birth partners. More than a fifth of birthing centres and more than a third of homebirth services have closed due t
  12. News Article
    Rachel Hardeman has dedicated her career to fighting racism and the harm it has inflicted on the health of Black Americans. As a reproductive health equity researcher, she has been especially disturbed by the disproportionately high mortality rates for Black babies. In an effort to find some of the reasons behind the high death rates, Hardeman, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and three other researchers combed through the records of 1.8 million Florida hospital births between 1992 and 2015 looking for clues. They found a tantalising stat
  13. Content Article
    As a result of the investigation, one recommendation has been made to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on assessing factors such teamwork and psychological safety in its regulation of maternity units. Based on the evidence gathered, the report also sets out a series of questions to consider in order to help staff identify strengths and opportunities for improvement within their own maternity unit. Safety recommendation It is recommended that the Care Quality Commission, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, includes assessment of relational aspects such as multidisciplinary t
  14. News Article
    More women may suffer pain due to being conscious while undergoing caesareans or other pregnancy-related surgery under general anaesthetic than realised, a troubling new study has found. The report, conducted by medical journal Anaesthesia, found being awake while having a caesarean is far more common than it is with other types of surgery. Researchers discovered that one in 256 women going through pregnancy-related surgery are aware of what was going on — a far higher proportion than the one in every 19,000 identified in a previous national audit. If a patient is conscious at
  15. News Article
    Mothers-to-be must be respected and listened to by medics, regulators have said, after warnings that pleas for pain relief in labour have been ignored. The intervention by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) follows an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph. Last week it was revealed that six NHS trusts were in breach of medical guidance which says pain relief should be provided at any point of labour if it is requested. Women said they were told “‘It’s not called labour for nothing, it’s meant to be hard work” as doctors refused their pleas. The findings prompted the Health Secre
  16. News Article
    A coroner has today slammed a hospital for a series of serious failings after a mother bled to death when a medic refused to allow her vital clotting products. Gabriela Pintilie, 36, from Grays, Essex, gave birth to her healthy baby girl, Stefania, in February last year following a C-section after a long labour. But she suffered a major haemorrhage and died from a cardiac arrest hours later. Basildon University Hospital, in Essex, came under fire after it emerged a locum haematologist refused to give Mrs Pintilie the blood after he followed the wrong set of guidelines. The fresh froz
  17. Content Article
    Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative has updated its policy guidance in the light of these investigations and some organisations are using posters and checklists to help staff understand and carry out their responsibilities. HSIB has also observed the impact of high task load, environment and staffing levels on the ability of staff to detect SUPC. Recommendations Maternity services should consider the following learning observations to ensure safe delivery of skin-to-skin care. • Based on the evidence, a baby who is born apparently well, with good Apgar scores, can be safely
  18. News Article
    Covid has brought many hidden tragedies: elderly residents in care homes bereft of family visits, families in quarantine missing loved one’s funerals, and mums forced to go through labour alone. Much of this has been necessary, however painful, but Jeremy Hunt fears we’re getting the balance badly wrong in maternity care. That’s why he is backing The Mail on Sunday’s campaign to end lone births, which has been championed in Parliament by Alicia Kearns. Infection control in hospitals is critically important, but mothers’ mental health can’t be pushed down the priority list. Ima
  19. Content Article

    Midwifery during COVID-19: A personal account

    Anonymous
    Birth choices Our pregnant women are still being offered good choices in their birth experience such as homebirth and water birth, so long as they are well. I did two lovely home births this week. We are definitely seeing a rise in people transferring to our homebirth service. I do think there is a concern nationally about high risk women choosing to homebirth unassisted, in areas where maternity services have suspended homebirth as an option. Because women in my area still have the option of a homebirth, it’s not something we’re experiencing. Birthing partners and limited visits
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