A toxic culture at the trust
Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust received close to £1m for providing good care to patients
The trust, which is at the centre of England’s largest inquiry into baby deaths, was awarded almost £1m after certifying that it had met 10 maternity safety standards.
This will come as a shock to many families who have suffered as a result of the appalling maternity care provided to them by the trust.
Reports which were leaked in October 2019 found that a “toxic culture” at the trust had led to poor care being provided to women and children and in some instances had contributed to the avoidable deaths of babies and mothers, as well as significant harm from which many families will not recover.
Maternity safety actions
In an effort to improve maternity care NHS Resolution launched the Maternity Incentive Scheme in 2018. The scheme seeks to reward services which provide best practice in maternity care.
In order to qualify for the financial reward, trusts were required to assess and confirm whether they had met 10 maternity safety actions. These actions include:
- Demonstrating effective systems of workforce planning
- Following up and acting on the concerns of patients
- Acting in compliance with the NHS Resolution’s Early Notification Scheme
Those trusts which could confirm that they have satisfied all 10 safety actions received a refund of a percentage of their contribution to the maternity incentive fund, as well as a share of any unallocated funds.
Maternity care deemed “inadequate”
The board of the trust certified that it had met each of the 10 standards, despite having had to pay out close to £50m to victims of maternity errors since 2006.
The failure of NHS Resolution to verify the trust’s self-certification meant that the trust received £953,391 in September 2018, whilst the Care Quality Commission was investigating the trust. The outcome of the CQC investigations found that the trust was providing inadequate maternity services, including mothers being told ‘not to worry’ that they had lost their baby because they’d be pregnant again within the year. It is unclear whether the decision to reward the trust for the care provided will be reversed.
Inez Brown, partner with Medical Accident Group said, “It is deeply concerning that the trust has been rewarded for the care provided to patients while in actuality mothers and children were being put in harm’s way. If monetary incentives are offered to NHS trusts, it is essential that more is done to ensure that only those trusts which are acting wholly in the best interests of patients are rewarded. In this way, those trusts which earn the reward will act as an example to other trusts and encourage excellent maternity care throughout the NHS.”
If you or a family member have suffered through hospital failures, Medical Accident Group is here to help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors who will guide you through the process of making a claim.