Clinical negligence claims involving labour and delivery—injuries to the mother
Produced in partnership with Renée Wood
Clinical negligence claims involving labour and delivery—injuries to the mother

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note Produced in partnership with Renée Wood provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Clinical negligence claims involving labour and delivery—injuries to the mother
  • Informed consent—Montgomery
  • Practical considerations when managing claims
  • Common maternal injuries during labour and delivery
  • Take-home messages

This Practice Note begins with a reminder of the importance of Montgomery, followed by an examination of the practical considerations when managing these types of claims. It also provides an overview of common maternal injuries suffered during childbirth.

See Overview: Liability for general information regarding breach of duty and causation and Overview: Damages for further guidance on damages in clinical negligence claims.

Informed consent—Montgomery

An increasingly significant aspect of maternity claims is what information was provided regarding choices about labour and delivery. This was explored in the Supreme Court case of Montgomery and is an evolving area of law and clinical practice.

Ensure you are up to date with related case law and any changes in the national and local guidelines regarding what mothers should be told. This includes, but is not limited to, decisions regarding a vaginal birth after a caesarean section. For further guidance on Montgomery, see Practice Note: Consent in clinical negligence claims—treatment and causation.

Practical considerations when managing claims

Sensitivity

These injuries and symptoms may cause embarrassment and a reluctance to discuss the full implications. Be sensitive to the challenges this presents and make sure you understand the full picture.

Maternity and medical records

A clear copy of the medical records is essential. These are the initial source of information on who was involved, symptoms, investigations and monitoring,