If you feel you have suffered negligence:
- Get copies of your pregnancy and labour notes as soon as possible – request these from the hospital
- Write down your account of what happened, this is hard, but it will help in the long run
- Find out if the hospital carried out any written investigation into what happened.
They may have reported it as a Serious Incident (SI) (see particularly pages 37 & 38) and will have to do an investigation (often called a Root Cause Analysis).
Ask if this has happened and request a copy
- Certain incidents have to have involvement of the new Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch. This link has information
- Consider arranging a meeting with the hospital
- Make a formal complaint to the hospital in writing, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) could help you with this
- If considering litigation make sure you have a good solicitor with a trusted law firm, perhaps someone who has been recommended or use the websites below to find solicitors specialising in medical negligence. Litigation is a long and sometimes difficult process, however it is a way of getting your voice heard
- If you feel that any midwives/doctors failed you, you can report them to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the General Medical Council (GMC), both have online complaint forms
- It may also be worth raising your case with your local MP, local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
- You could also contact the local Coroner, if appropriate
- Try to take one day at a time and take help and support if you can
We hope this has helped and please let us know if we can help with any other questions.
Useful websites for information and advice:
Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA)
A charity for patient safety and justice. They provide a helpline and also have a facility to search for solicitors specialising in medical negligence
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
They make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England and UK government departments and other public organisations
Chambers and Partners
Produce an online guide/ranking of solicitors by specialty and geographic area
NHS Patient Safety Division – National Reporting and Learning System
To report a patient safety incident – please note they do not investigate individual cases – they only collate information nationally and issue safety alerts to trusts
Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB)
Funded by the Dept of Health and NHS, but independent. They will conduct about 30 detailed investigations each year. Incidents can be reported directly to them (at their website) although they will not investigate all incidents reported to them.
Their maternity branch conducts investigations on certain incidents.
There are various guidelines for care in pregnancy, this is a link to the main ‘Intrapartum Care Guideline’
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)
They produce resources and guidance and also have patient liaison/feedback
Each Baby Counts
A 5 year project being run by the RCOG with the aim of reducing the number of babies that are injured or that die during term labour. We are parent advisors for the project
Write to them
An easy way to find and contact you local Councillors, MP and MEP’s.
A national charity supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies lives
Child Death Helpline
A helpline with calls answered by a trained volunteer who has also lost a child and understands the feelings that surround the death of a child.
Facebook Group: Support for families whose babies have died following medical negligence
A group that enables people to share thoughts, feelings and practical advice
Birth Trauma Association
Helping people traumatised by childbirth and campaigning for improvements