An investigation into ‘avoidable’ baby deaths at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) which runs both Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, should take place – more than 250 families have come forward with concerns after the inquiry was instigated in 2017.
Failings in maternity care
NHS Improvement (NHSI) asked SaTH for details on all cases of potential errors – the original review initially focused on 23 cases in which maternity failings were alleged. However, by March 2019, 250 families had come forward.
The original enquiry was instigated after two sets of parents went through newspaper clippings, and forced the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to recognise their concerns and conduct the “Ockenden Review”.
The Trust was put into special measures in November and was also made subject to “further urgent action” in May, due to safety concerns over emergency and maternity services following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
The NHSI put pressure on the Trust to open up its books, rather than relying on families to highlight their own cases.
An NHSI spokesman said: “As part of the independent Ockenden Review, the trust was requested to share all potentially relevant information relating to maternity, to establish if any more cases should be included in this investigation so that all families are given the answers they need and lessons are learned.”
Sarah-Jayne Martin, solicitor with Medical Accident Group said: “This investigation is needed urgently. I hope that the findings of the investigation will bring some closure, and provide some answers, to those affected by the failings. I also hope the Trust will implement necessary procedural changes and improve the quality of care provided in the maternity unit.”
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