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NHS Trust pays £35 million birth trauma allegations

NHS Trust pays £35 million birth trauma allegations


An NHS Trust in Surrey quietly pays £35 million for birth injury claims, shedding light on alleged "shockingly poor care."

The Birth Trauma Association supports a parliamentary inquiry as MPs break the taboo surrounding birth trauma. Investigations reveal disturbing statistics, urging a deeper examination of the neglected crisis in NHS maternity units.

Introduction: In a startling revelation, an NHS Trust in Surrey has discreetly paid out a staggering £35 million in birth injury compensation over the last two years. The unsettling discovery comes amid allegations of "shockingly poor care" within NHS maternity units, bringing to the forefront a silent crisis that has long been overshadowed by societal reluctance to discuss birth trauma.

Parliamentary Inquiry and Taboos: Earlier this year, the UK witnessed the launch of its first parliamentary inquiry into birth trauma, co-chaired by Conservative MP Theo Clarke and Labour MP Rosie Duffield. The inquiry aims to address the prevalent issue of "shockingly poor care" during childbirth in the NHS. Theo Clarke emphasized that birth trauma is a "real taboo," recounting her personal birthing horror during a House of Commons session.

Birth Trauma Association's Advocacy: The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) plays a crucial role in shedding light on the neglected crisis. CEO Kim Thomas highlighted the commonality of "shockingly poor care" experiences within NHS maternity units. Women often find their complaints met with attempts to downplay their trauma and evade responsibility, creating a pervasive culture of silence surrounding birth injuries.

Disturbing Statistics: Investigations by revealed alarming statistics from one NHS Trust in Surrey. Between November 2021 and November 2023, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust paid over £35 million in birth injury compensation. The Trust reported 236 incidents of 3rd and 4th-degree tears and 95 cases of postpartum haemorrhage during this period. Birth injuries, often traumatic and requiring emergency surgeries, contribute significantly to clinical negligence claims.

CEO Insights and Public Perception: Kim Thomas, CEO of the BTA, emphasized the historical silence around birth trauma, attributing it to societal attitudes aiming not to frighten pregnant women. Many women remain unaware of the potential for birth injuries, and when trauma symptoms arise, they often face dismissal and pressure to move on. Thomas stressed that, contrary to public perception, pursuing compensation for NHS-related birth injuries is a formidable challenge.

Conclusion: The revelation of an NHS Trust quietly paying £35 million in birth injury claims underscores the urgent need to address the silent crisis of poor maternity care. As a parliamentary inquiry unfolds, it is crucial to break the taboos surrounding birth trauma, empowering women to voice their experiences and prompting systemic changes to ensure safer childbirth practices within the NHS. The statistics demand a re-evaluation of current practices and a collective effort to prioritize the well-being of mothers and new-borns.