Please see our Facebook page for all the very latest news
3rd February 2018
Michelle featured in the Times article ‘Outdated laws around stillbirth prevent coroners holding hospitals to account’
2nd February 2018
Tim Loughton’s Private Members Bill – that includes Coroner jurisdiction for stillbirths – passed its second reading and moved to Committee Stage. Tim mentioned Nicky and Michelle from the Campaign in his speech – the transcript can be found on Hansard here
9th January 2018
Jack and Sarah Hawkins talked of the failings in care that lead to the death of their daughter and of the lack of independent investigation into the death
Their story was in the Mail: ‘NHS physio and her doctor husband mourning ‘preventable’ death of their baby‘
28th November 2017
MBRRACE publish the Perinatal Mortality Surveillance Enquiry into Term, Singleton, Intrapartum Stillbirth and Intrapartum Related Neonatal Death – Click here for Full report and here for lay summary. The top line finding is that 80% of term deaths relating to labour was potentially avoidable.
To coincide with the MBRRACE publication the Dept of Health released the latest information on their ambition to half the number of maternal deaths, stillbirths, neonatal deaths and birth brain injuries – Safer Maternity Care
The National Maternity Safety Strategy – Progress and Next Steps
** Following much campaigning Coroner jurisdiction for stillbirths was included in this paper ** Our Campaign featured in the media – including Michelle talking on the Jeremy Vine programme and in the Times ‘Minister calls for inquests on stillbirths‘
21st November 2017
Meetings in Westminster with Tim Loughton MP, Lillian Greenwood MP and Jack & Sarah Hawkins, Justin Madders MP (Shadow Minister Health) and Mike Amesbury. We also met with Clea Harmer and others from Sands to discuss Coroner jursidicaiton for stillbirth
18th November 2017
Nicky met with local MP Mike Amesbury – who is supporting our campaign – many thanks Mike!
9th November 2017
National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) report published. Reported on the BBC ‘Birth complications ‘twice as common’ in some hospitals’
30th October 2017
Michelle was interviewed on Sky News about our campaign. See a recording on the interview on our Facebook page
28th October 2017
Article published in the Times about our campaign
The Times also supported us in their Comment section
12th October 2017
RCOG Each Baby Counts full report published on the cases reported during 2015. This also highlighted the high level of poor investigations that are taking place in Trusts – many without parent involvement
10th October 2017
Commons debate where the issue of Coroner jusristiction for stillbirths was mentioned by a number of MP’s
6th October 2017
Jack & Sarah Hawkins appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire programme calling for inquests for babies stillborn in labour following the death of their daughter 18 months ago. The couple then featured in national newspapers over the next few days.
19th September 2017
Five years of cerebral palsy claims, NHS Resolution, A thematic review of NHS Resolution data
11th September 2017
Nicky and Michelle went to the Houses of Parliament to meet Tim Loughton MP who has included inquests for stillborn babies in his Private Members Bill
21st August 2017
The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) has published its first report
12th August 2017
Midwives back down on natural childbirth
8th August 2017
Why ARE hundreds of babies dying needlessly each year in NHS hospitals?
Michelle features in this Daily Mail article
27th July 2017
Blunders behind NHS baby deaths risk cover-ups under new plans
2nd June 2017
MBRRACE reports published
21st June 2017
Each Baby Counts Summary Report for 2015 published showing the numbers of babies who have died or been left brain damaged due to intra-partum events during 2017
12th June 2017
Baby death families hear review findings
BBC Scotland Online
Michelle’s article for the RCOG on our involvement with Each Baby Counts
8th May 2017
The hospital errors leaving new parents devastated
5th May 2017
We met with the Chief Coroner of England and Wales, His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC to discuss stillbirth investigations and extending the jurisdiction to allow Inquests
22nd April 2017
Midwives told to stop pushing own agenda for natural births
18th April 2017
Natural childbirth lobby putting babies at risk, warn parents
12th April 2017
Series of ‘avoidable’ baby deaths at NHS trust being investigated
1st April 2017
New Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch operational
31st march 2017
Why do 2,000 babies die needlessly during childbirth every year in the UK?
16th March 2017
‘Maternity Incidents not being reviewed‘
BB Scotland online
23rd January 2017
Michelle featured in her local paper the Northampton Chronicle – entitled ‘We want justice for our babies’
17th January 2017
WI/NCT report published ‘Support Overdue‘
27th October 2016
OFSTED style ratings introduced for maternity. Initial results showed 3 out of 4 Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) were failing patients.
17th October 2016
Government announcement on maternity safety
13th October 2016
MP’s Debate baby loss
6th September 2016
First Stillbirth Inquest in Northern Ireland
21st march 2016
NHS announces the Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle
23rd February 2016
National Maternity Review report ‘Better Births’ published
17th February 2016
Michelle features in the Northampton Chronicle
7th February 2016
Launch of the Sunday Times campaign for safer births
Here are links to further articles:
‘Shamed hospitals blame high stillbirth rates on mothers’
‘Maternity Units Ignore advice on stillbirth risks’
‘A parent story’
‘MaternityTurf wars harming mothers and babies’
‘Uncaring staff added to pain of baby’s death’
‘Rise in injuries to mothers’
29th January 2016
Michelle and Nicky attended a meeting of the Each baby Counts Advisory Group
21st January 2016
Michelle featured in the Times ‘The truth about Britain’s stillbirth scandal’
19th January 2016
Lancet report on Stillbirth published
3rd December 2015
The Mail – ‘Would our babies have lived if they hadn’t been born at the weekend?’
2nd December 2015
Joshua’s Story published. Written by James Titcombe about the tragic death of his son, Joshua. Available at Amazon
26th November 2015
Nicky & Michelle met with Baroness Cumberledge and Sir Cyril Chantler to discuss maternity safety and the National Maternity Review
25th November 2015
ITV report on poorer maternity outcomes at weekends
19th November 2015
MBRRACE Antepartum stillbirth Confidential Enquiry published.
13th November 2015
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a new ambition to halve the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths by 2030.
15th November 2015
Michelle in the Sunday Times ‘600 Stillborn babies a year could be saved’
16th October 2015
Attended the RCOG Patient Safety Day
4th October 2015
Sunday Times article: CQC inspections of maternity units……..Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said: “A significant number of units are providing or are at risk of providing elements of poor care. Almost a third are rated as ‘requires improvement’ . . . and about 5% are inadequate where we have the most serious concerns. This wide variation in the quality of maternity and gynaecology care in England is unacceptable.”
30th September 2015
NHS England Asphyxia working group meeting
18th September 2015
Met with Sir Cyril Chantler from the National Maternity Review team to discuss safety and quality of care in maternity services
17th September 2015
Attended NHS England/RCOG Women’s Patient Safety Expert Group
23rd June 2015
Attended the National Maternity Review BirthTank event
22nd June 2015
Attended the Each Baby Counts Advisory Group meeting
19th June 2015
Warrington Guardian report on inquests for stillborn babies
16th June 2015
Met with the Chief Coroner, Judge Thornton, to discuss inquests for babies that die during labour. This is a positive step forward for our campaign. As always we will keep you updated.
10th June 2015
Times Article ‘1,000 babies a year stillborn as hospitals miss maternity standards’
11th March 2015
Attended the NHS England/RCOG Womens Patient Safety Group in London
4th March 2015
In London attending a meeting with NHS England and others about reducing harm through brain injury as a result of hypoxia. The group will be exploring the reasons that these injuries happen, how to support related work programmes already in development and how we can influence further improvements.
Morecambe Bay investigation report published
Nicky has co-written a blog with Alan Cameron, RCOG Vice President, Clinical Quality for the Each Baby Counts Project. You can read it here.
We have been contacted by one of the Consultants from St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester offering support to our campaign and also letting us know that they now have 24 hour Consultant presence on their labour ward. RCOG guidelines state that all large units (>5000 births per year) should have 24 hour presence, however very few hospitals are meeting this requirement. It is fantastic to hear that St Mary’s has managed to do this. They have said that they believe this change will result in a reduction of poor outcomes and also reduce unnecessary admissions.
When we have written to other hospitals asking why they are not meeting the 24/7 requirement they have given various reasons including a lack of funding and also issues with the Consultants contracts. None of the hospitals we contacted said it was because they thought 24 hour cover was not necessary.
We will continue to campaign on this important issue.
Pannone Solicitors part of Slater & Gordon have agreed to sponsor the Campaign for Safer Births. We would like to thank Pannone for their support and generous donation towards our work. This funding will help to cover our costs and is essential to help continue the work of the campaign. Pannone are based in Manchester, although they work Nationwide, and can help with clinical negligence cases as well as many other areas of law. Pannone can be contacted on 0800 884 0190 or visit www.pannone.com
We have been invited to sit on the Each Baby Counts Advisory Group as patient representatives. The first meeting is on the 4th December
The RCOG launched the Each baby Counts project – a 5 year project with the aim of reducing stillbirths and brain damage during labour by 50%. Nicky and Michelle both attended the launch event. Nicky and Michelle both feature on the website.
Nicky and Michelle went to Westminster for a meeting with Rt Hon Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Justice and Chris Heaton Harris MP. The meeting was to higlight that the deaths of babies in labour cannot be invesigated by Coroners as stillborn babies are not within the Coroners jurisdiction. This means there is no independent review and no national learning. We were asking for a change in the law to allow these tragic deaths to be investigated by the Coroner. The meeting was very positive and the issue is going to be explored further by the government.
2nd October 2014
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have announced that they are launching a 5 year project with the aim of reducing baby deaths and brain damage are a result of incidents during term labour.
We are attending the launch in London on 23rd October.
30th September 2014
Shoosmiths solicitors have written a piece on Stillbirth including the lack of inquests. The article includes information on Michelle’s story.
18th September 2014
Today Nicky presented to the NHS Women’s Patient Safety Group. There were representatives there from the NHS, Royal Colleges, CQC and NHS Litigation Authority. We talked about patient experiences of negligent care, covered some national statistics and called for improvements – particularly in Consultant cover and staffing. A great opportunity to get patient’s voices heard.
We’ve had a few people asking for more information about Patient Safety & Maternity in Scotland. We’ve now been passed this link from Bernadette McCulloch, who is the Improvement Advisor for the Scottish Patient Safety Programme for Maternity. Click on her name on the link if you would like to contact her or get involved. www.scottishpatientsafetyprogramme.scot.nhs.uk/programmes/mcqic
7th August 2014
Sir Robert Francis is conducting a review called Freedom to Speak Up, into how to create an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS. This follows the terrible treatment of NHS Whistleblowers by hospital management. There is an opportunity for staff and others to have their say on what should be done – click on the link to find out more www.freedomtospeakup.org.uk
Campaign for Safer Births has been nominated for a Butterfly Award in the UK Support Organisation Category. Please click here to vote for us!
Michelle has also been nominated for Inspirational Mother. Please click here to vote for Michelle.
Thank you !
Here are the minutes from the latest NHS England Women’s Patient Safety Expert Group
We have now written to every Coroner in the UK highlighting the issue of maternity negligence and the need for inquests for stillborn babies
Campaign for Safer Births are a partner organisation for the Stillbirth Priority Setting Partnership.
30th May 2014
Michelle met with Penelope Schofield, a senior Coroner, to discuss the campaign for inquests for babies stillborn during labour
8th April 2014
The Camapign for Safer Births Facebook page now has 1,000 members!
Nicky attended the first meeting of the NHS England Women’s Patient Safety Group. The minutes are available online: NHS England Women’s Patient Safety Group – Agendas and Minutes
We have been successful in gaining a place on the new NHS England Women’s Patient Safety Committee. This is a national board bringing together NHS England, the royal colleges (RCOG and the RCM) and patient representatives. The first meeting is in March – looking forward to it!
7th February 2014:
Nicky attended a meeting of the Cheshire and Merseyside NHS Maternity Strategic Clinical Network. These networks have been set up to bring together health care professionals, commissioners, patient organisations and patient representatives from across local regions to work together to help implement best practice and improve care.
17th January 2014:
Michelle had a meeting with Chris Heaton-Harris MP to discuss the recent National Audit Office report and subsequent Public Accounts Committee Questioning into issues in NHS maternity services. The meeting was filmed for the documentary Stillborn, Still Loved.
12th December 2013:
Michelle gave a powerful interview to Martha Kearney on the BBC Radio 4 The World at One programme. They were reporting on a Care Quality Commission survey that found that a quarter of women say they were left alone during labour at a time that worried them.
9th December 2013:
Nicky was featured in an article in the Cerebra charity online magazine.
18th November 2013:
MP’s from the Public Accounts Committee questioned key people involved in maternity services. Campaign for Safer Births submitted some information and questions and got a mention during the questioning!
RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) have published census data showing Consultant presence on labour wards by hospital.
See if your local hospital is meeting the recommended hours:
Consultant hours by hospital – Click here to view
The hours that the hospital should be covering is dependent on the number of births the hospital handles per year – as detailed here:
< 2500 births Hours based on local needs 2500-4000 births 60 hours Consultant presence on labour ward per week 4000-5000 births 98 hours Consultant presence on labour ward per week > 5000 births 168 hours Consultant presence on labour ward per week
Many hospitals are sadly not meeting this minimum recommended level. If your local hospital is one of them why not contact them to ask why? You could also contact your local MP, Clinical Commissioning Group (or equivalent) or local paper
24th September 2013:
The campaign is featured in an article on Mumstreet
30th July 2013:
Michelle and Nicky were interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton
28th July 2013:
Sunday Times article on Consulant cover in Labour wards – featuring Michelle’s case
Sunday Times ‘If only he’d been born in the daytime’