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'Listen to parents' recommends new NICE guidance on postnatal care

Lindsay Holt
08/06/2021
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently updated its guidelines on postnatal care, including advice on assessing a baby.

Our experience is that substandard care during this critical period after delivery can lead to death or catastrophic injuries to both mother and baby.

I currently act for clients in cases where it is alleged that neonatal hypoglycaemia has not been recognised, resuscitation has not been actioned quickly enough or signs of severe infection have been missed. Parents are often falsely reassured about their baby's wellbeing, instead of being asked to bring their baby to the surgery for assessment.

Parents of my clients have frequently reported a change in their baby's behaviour or symptoms, such as refusing a feed or a change in their level of responsiveness, only to be told that they should not worry so much or that as a new parent, it is natural to be overly concerned.

These new guidelines explicitly recognise that parents' concerns should be listened to when considering a diagnosis, among other recommendations.

Where remote assessments are undertaken, it is up to doctor (not the parent or carer) to make the decision about whether to see the baby in person and a 'traffic light' guide is used to help them decide. Too often, parents' reports of signs and symptoms are not acted upon, leading to late diagnosis of conditions such as hypoglycaemia, strep B infection, meningitis and sepsis, all of which can lead to death, cerebral palsy, limb loss and seizures.

The expert medical negligence team here works tirelessly to recover compensation awards to enable families affected by severe injury and loss to rebuild their lives.

Read more about our birth injury cases.

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