Stillbirth following water birth at home

1 Jul 2021 | Nicholas Leahy
white lilies

Nicholas Leahy acted for a young woman who had a water birth at home and two midwives were allocated to her at the very last minute. One midwife was newly qualified and had expressed her concern at having to attend the Claimant’s home due to her inexperience. The other midwife was on her way to another appointment when she was told to divert to the Claimant’s home to assist in the delivery of the Claimant’s baby. The situation was fraught with difficulty and mistakes were made. Tragically the Claimant’s baby was delivered stillborn, and a birth injury claim was pursued after a Serious Untoward Incident Report identified significant failings.

Healthcare providers are responsible for the safety of patients and must ensure robust systems are in place for recognising, reporting, investigating and responding to Serious Incidents. The NHS’s Serious Incidents Framework aims to ensure that serious incidents are correctly identified, thoroughly investigated and, most importantly, that practitioners learn from mistakes to prevent the likelihood of similar incidents ever happening again. The needs of the people affected are the primary concern of those investigating serious incidents. Patients and their families should be involved and supported throughout the investigation process.

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