Britain’s first Birth Trauma Inquiry launched – and you can help change policy | Bolt Burdon Kemp Britain’s first Birth Trauma Inquiry launched – and you can help change policy | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Britain’s first Birth Trauma Inquiry launched – and you can help change policy

Parents and maternity professionals are being invited to tell their experiences of traumatic births for a Government inquiry which could change NHS policy.

The inquiry wants to hear lived experiences and real-life stories of parents to inform practical policy recommendations for the UK Government to enact.

Birth trauma can involve any negative experience resulting in perceived or actual psychological or physical harm to the mother or baby during birth or the immediate pre/postnatal environment. Survivors might have felt powerless, voiceless and unable to speak up and this may have left an overwhelming impact on their day-to-day quality of life.

Everyone who submits their story to the inquiry is directly helping pave the way to change and to stop what happened to them from being repeated for years to come.

Birth trauma affects 30,000 women across the UK every year. At BBK we welcome this inquiry and we will be submitting our own evidence, based on what we see working with survivors, to help make maternity care safer for women.

The investigation has been set up as part of the first ever All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Birth Trauma.

The APPG is already making waves, being the first in British history to lead a debate in Parliament on birth trauma in October 2023.

This is all thanks to the courageous work of Theo Clarke MP and Rosie Duffield MP who have bravely shared their own very personal and traumatic birth stories publicly.

The inquiry is inviting written submissions from parents and those who have experienced or witnessed in a professional capacity, trauma during birth. The Government particularly welcomes submissions from those from marginalised and minoritised communities who sadly, as we are aware from previous inquiries, tend to suffer the most from failings in care and who have fewer opportunities to have their voices heard.


The inquiry is now open for immediate submissions and closes on Tuesday 20th February so there isn’t too long left to make your mark and truly make an impact on such an important issue.

Seven sessions to hear evidence will then run on consecutive Mondays in Parliament between 5 February and 18 March 2024.

The inquiry will publish its report in April 2024 which will include policy recommendations to improve maternity care.


Submissions should be sent as a Word document to

There is helpful guidance which should also be considered which is different if you are a professional or sharing your own lived experience.

For more detailed and thorough information on the enquiry or further guidance please visit the following webpage. This advice sets out:

  • What information to include and how to set it out
  • Helpful suggestions on what to include
  • Questions and prompts to get you started and to make the very most powerful impact from your story as you can. By following these prompts, you may find it a much easier and less daunting process than you may have first thought.

It is very important for you to know that you do not have to reveal your identity and your submission will be just as valuable to the inquiry if it is anonymised.

Why you should tell your story

We would strongly encourage anyone who has been affected by birth trauma to come forward and submit your story to the inquiry.

Without you bravely telling your story, your voice cannot be heard and it might just very well change the life and birth of another mother.

Without women bravely speaking about their experiences, nothing can be done to change the narrative and to bring about positive change to the birth safety and experiences any woman would expect to receive in a first-world country.

BBK’s involvement

We will be submitting our own evidence to the inquiry, setting out the specialist legal work we do as experienced women’s health medical negligence lawyers. We will be setting out the common themes we see in our day-to-day work acting for injured women or their babies following negligent birth trauma.

Through our women’s health and child brain injury teams we sadly see all too often the lifelong impact birth trauma can have on mum, baby and the entire family, not just in the short term but also the future physical, mental and financial impact on the rest of their lives.

We care not only for our clients but we also work closely with similarly united charities whose all important work is making positive change in women’s health. We are proud sponsors and champions of MASIC whose ongoing work for this inquiry as specialist advisors and the entirety of the birth safety arena is applauded.

Chloe Oliver CEO of the MASIC Foundation says “The MASIC Foundation very much welcome the launch of an inquiry into birth trauma and injury by the Birth Trauma APPG. We are proud to be members of the Special Advisory Group and look forward to working collaboratively with the inquiry to meet our shared goals of improving care for women suffering with the life changing emotional and physical consequences of birth injury but also looking at how we can prevent these injuries from occurring.  We look forward to the weeks ahead and making a huge impact in women’s health and healthcare.  We really urge women who have suffered birth injuries to come forward and share their experiences – this is their time to be heard and help us drive change.  We also urge anyone suffering the consequences of a birth injury to reach out for support – we are here to help. We thank Bolt Burdon Kemp for their continued work in raising awareness of birth injury

The Government has already started making real change to valuing women’s health. It was announced this week by the health secretary that birth trauma will be added to the women’s health strategy. This is a very welcomed decision by all those campaigning for better births. The Government will now be rolling out comprehensive physical care for those who experience serious tears during childbirth by March and specialist maternal mental health services will also be available to women in every part of England by March.

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