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Substandard maternity care across UK

By Clare Gooch

Published In: Clinical Negligence - Pregnancy and Birth

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has reported that 65 percent of maternity services across the UK have been rated as inadequate or requiring improvement, in the last year.

pregnant woman in greyscale

In the last few years, we have seen hospital Trusts face the spotlight with Donna Ockenden, senior midwife, leading reviews and publishing reports regarding their maternity services. This has included Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust and most recently Nottingham University Hospital (NUH) NHS Trust, where her investigation is still underway.

 In a recent ‘State of Care’ report for 2022/2023, the CQC highlighted a number of continuing themes that are more and more apparent in maternity units across the UK. These themes include staffing shortages, toxic workplaces, leadership safety issues and systemic racism to name a few. What we have learnt is that sadly these issues result in many mothers and birthing people not being heard, which in too many cases has led to catastrophic consequences.

 Many Hospital Trusts are now taking action in an attempt to improve their maternity services to ensure that expectant parents are fully supported.

 At Switalskis, we represent a large number of families who have been impacted by one or more of the concerns highlighted in the CQC State of Care report, which has resulted in devastating consequences for them and their families.

 We are of the view that Hospital Trusts need to take accountability as soon as is possible, identify the issues they face and make changes to prevent injuries and losses occurring.

 If you, a family member, or someone you know has been affected by a birth injury and require help and advice, we invite you to get in touch so we can begin to support you. Call 0800 138 0458 or email

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Clare has worked in Medical Negligence for over 10 years.  She’s a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Medical Negligence team based in Switalskis’ London office.

Senior Associate Solicitor

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