The Telegraph has reported that an independent review into maternity care provided by the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (“the Trust”), has increased into looking at over 100 cases.
In 2017, the former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, ordered an independent inquiry led by Ms Donna Ockenden, a Senior Midwife. At this point, 23 cases of mother and baby deaths were being investigated. However, it is now believed that this figure has significantly increased, as more families are coming forward.
According to the BBC, the inquiry investigated cases including baby deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries, due to alleged poor maternity care at the Trust. Many families affected, who received maternity care during 2000-2017, have come forward demanding answers, as they believe that these deaths could have been avoidable.
The Telegraph has reported parents affected may have been “pressurized” to deliver their babies naturally, without the option of a caesarean section or forceps-assisted delivery, which they believe, could have prevented brain damage. A failure of midwives to properly monitor foetal heart rates and defect infection has been reported to have led to some deaths.
The Trust invited the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, to carry out a review of its maternity services, which brought to light a variety of issues. The report stated that there was a lack of staff, in particular, midwives and consultants which “was a patient safety issue.”
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has already taken urgent action against the maternity department. The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker confirmed an inspection in September 2018, highlighted a number of safety issues “within the Trust’s maternity services.”
The NHS Improvement chief operating officer, Dr Kathy McLean, has said:
“Our independent [Ockenden] review will consider everything it can to ensure Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is equipped to learn from the previous failings in its maternity and neonatal services. This includes continuing to examine the 23 historical investigations identified in April 2017, as well as investigations that have been highlighted since then.”
The Trust has confirmed “it continues to engage fully” with the CQC “during our current, ongoing inspection.”
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence claims and have an experienced team who can advise where Gynaecological and Obstetrics injuries have occurred. If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of negligence, due to private or NHS treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456, so that we can discuss your concerns.