NEWS: Number of babies brain-damaged at birth hits record level

The number of babies suffering brain damage at birth due to medical blunders has reached record levels.

Cases against maternity units for mistakes that left children with life-long disabilities rose by a quarter in the past year, costing the NHS £2billion.

The rise has been blamed on staff shortages and a “cult-like fixation” on so-called “normal births” where women have their baby without a doctor.

Parents made 232 claims against the NHS in 2016-2017, a 23 per cent rise from 188 cases the year before, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Maternity claims now make up half of negligence suits against the NHS.

Last week it emerged the Royal College of Midwives ended a decade-long campaign for “normal births” and dropped the use of the term.

An inquiry into the Morecambe Bay maternity scandal, in which 11 babies died between 2004 and 2013, found midwives embarked on an “over-­zealous” pursuit of natural childbirth “at any cost”.

Peter Walsh, chief executive of the safety charity Action Against Medical Accidents said: “More research needs to be done to understand what is leading to the increase.”

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