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Calls on government to publish a National Maternity Improvement Strategy welcomed by Leigh Day

A report by The All-Party Parliamentary Group on birth trauma calling on the government to publish a National Maternity Improvement Strategy has been welcomed by Leigh Day.

Posted on 13 May 2024

“Listen to Mums: Ending the Postcode Lottery on Perinatal Care”, published today (Monday 13 May 2023), makes 12 recommendations that the proposed strategy should address. 

The recommendations include: 

  • Recruit, train and retain more midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists to ensure safe levels of staffing;
  • Ensure better education for women on birth choices;
  • Respect mothers’ choices about giving birth;
  • Extend the time limit for medical negligence litigation relating to child birth;
  • Commission research on the economic impact of birth trauma and injuries, including factors such as women delating returning to work. 

The report is the result of the first national inquiry in UK parliament to investigate the reasons for birth trauma. The APPG inquiry, led by Theo Clarke MP and Rosie Duffield MP, heard evidence over seven sessions, including from Leigh Day’s Head of Medical Negligence Suzanne White.  

Suzanne White, who has worked in the medical negligence team at Leigh Day for 27 years, was the only legal expert invited to speak at the inquiry.  

She told the panel that, in her professional experience, there was not enough focus on informed consent, and choice for mothers. Instead, she said there is a drive by midwives for women to deliver their babies vaginally when they should be offered options.  

She added that, as well as giving women more birthing options, there is a need for more midwives and better training.   

The report will be launched at a reception at the House of Commons this evening. 

Suzanne White said:  

“The crisis in maternity care in the UK has been something the medical negligence team at Leigh Day has been trying to spotlight for a long time so I am glad that the APPG on Birth Trauma has outlined clear changes that can be implemented.  

“As a medical negligence solicitor, I am all too familiar with the devastating impact that inadequate maternity services can have so I am hopeful that the government acts on these recommendations swiftly.”  

Suzanne White
Birth injury Brain injury Cerebral palsy Inquests

Suzanne White

Suzanne White is head of the medical negligence team and has specialised in this area of law since qualifying in 1999.

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