Women giving birth overnight receive inferior treatment
- AuthorJudith Thomas-Whittingham
The Department of Health have stated that pregnant women should expect “consistently excellent maternity services no matter the time of day or night.” It is therefore of great concern that Dr Falconer, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has this week claimed that pregnant women, who give birth overnight, are more likely to receive inferior treatment due to inexperienced doctors often lacking the skills to ensure a safe delivery.
Dr Falconer comments that many junior obstetric doctors lack the technical skills to use forceps or vacuum to ease a baby’s birth. He adds that medical staff often proceed with unnecessary caesarean sections, leading to some babies suffering catastrophic harm during birth. In addition, he believes that trainee doctors are often slow to identity bleeding after caesarean sections or to spot other complications after birth.
Dr Falconer states that “obstetric care isn’t the same at 3am as it is at 3pm, and it should be. This is a matter of huge concern.”
“One of the ironies of the health service, and this is a view shared by very senior people, is this culture that the NHS basically runs at one level for 40 hours per week, and at a completely different level for the rest of the week. And when you are dealing with acute services this should not happen.
He adds: “At night-time things go awry more often that they do in the daytime.”
Dr Falconer’s comments clearly raise serious concerns about the level of care many pregnant women have received, and indeed continue to receive. If you believe the treatment you have received is also below a reasonable standard then we have a dedicated team of clinical negligence solicitors who would be happy to advise you further. Call us for free initial advice on 0844 245 6602.
By clinical negligence solicitor, Tom Mooney