Thousands of maternity mistakes made in last two years

Thousands of women and their babies have been harmed by mistakes made by maternity care staff in England in the last two years, the BBC has reported.

Hospital staff logged more than 276,000 incidents between April 2015 and March 2017. According to BBC News, this is equivalent to one mistake for every five births. Although most were minor mistakes, almost one-quarter led to the mother or baby being harmed.

There were 63,380 cases of harm recorded, with almost 55,000 involving injuries or conditions requiring no more than first aid. However, there were 8,134 cases of more serious harm and in 288 cases, a death occurred.

The mistakes that were logged include comparatively minor ones such as records not being completed properly or short delays in getting medication, as well as more significant ones such as not diagnosing life-threatening complications and babies being deprived of oxygen.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC his "top priority" was to make these services safer. He said: “Mistakes in maternity care can lead to heart-breaking tragedies for mothers and babies."ADNFCR-2094-ID-801843275-ADNFCR