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Lawyers call for improved safety for mums and bubs

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Lawyers are calling on Queensland hospitals to further reexamine patient safety in the wake of a recent review into maternity services at Rockhampton Base Hospital.

The review, which identified shortfalls in training and recruitment processes, was in response to four serious incidents in the hospital’s maternity unit in the past 12 months.

Slater and Gordon Medical Negligence Lawyer Olamide Kowalik said the circumstances surrounding the incidents, one of which involved the death of a baby, had striking parallels to the issues plaguing Bacchus Marsh Hospital in Victoria.

“The similarities between the issues at Rockhampton Base Hospital and those at Bacchus Marsh are sharp,” Ms Kowalik said.

The ongoing investigation into Bacchus Marsh has found that clinical shortcomings contributed to 11 stillbirths.

Ms Kowalik called for other Queensland hospitals to apply the lessons from the review to prevent similar tragedies happening to other mums.

“This is a timely reminder to healthcare facilities across the state that patient safety is paramount and the responsibility of every health service.

“Every measure needs to be taken to ensure other Queensland families are not subjected to the devastation of losing a child and that our hospitals are delivering safe, high quality healthcare services. 

“I commend the hospital for their commitment to implement each of the 35 recommendations and would encourage a further review within 12 months to ensure these changes have been made and patient safety has improved,” Ms Kowalik said.