Lewisham Hospital: why mothers should worry about ‘moneysaving’ maternity unit downgrades.

Lessons still not being learned pose a real danger to birthing mothers, warns clinical negligence solicitor Richard Kayser, from our London office…

The more I think about it, the more concerned I get. The Government is contemplating downgrading Lewisham Hospital Maternity Unit into a birthing centre.

There will be no obstetricians available – worryingly, not just on the ward, but in the whole hospital. Now for the mother with no problems this won’t be an issue. But for that one patient who suffers complications, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Complications can arise to mothers categorised as low risk!

The argument will doubtless be that the mother can be transferred. But even if the complication is picked up as soon as possible, transfer to a nearby hospital will still take a considerable time. Those crucial minutes could mean the difference between a healthy baby, a brain-damaged baby, or a dead baby.

Having recently been involved in a case where complications were not immediately picked up – and, when they finally were, the transfer taking 30 critical minutes – it’s heartbreaking to hear that lessons are not being learned!

The Government states that this will save money. I question whether it actually will in the long run…

Current Controversies, Medical Negligence,
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