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Baby Deaths Review Increases to Over 100 Cases at Shropshire Hospitals

It is believed that a review into incidents of mother and baby deaths and injuries within Shropshire hospitals is now looking at over 100 cases.

An Investigation was ordered in 2017 by Jeremy Hunt into maternity care at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (SaTH) involving 23 cases. This figure afterwards rose to 40, however, is now thought to be significantly higher, at 104.

Whilst the investigation is ongoing, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have taken ‘urgent action’ against the maternity department of the trust. A specialist team has been appointed to investigate the cases and look into allegations that some babies suffered harm which was avoidable between 2000 and 2017. It is thought the babies came to harm through maternity staff errors.

During August, it was stated that the NHS Improvement had agreed to “consider additional historical investigations where women, infants, and new-born babies had died or suffered harm.”

At the time cases were already being looked at, however, further families have since come forward and it is believed 104 cases are now set to be looked into.

Executive Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer of NHS Improvement, Dr Kathy McLean, said “At this stage, we are unable to confirm how many historical cases will be considered under our independent review. We are examining in detail anything that may be relevant, ensuring that possible duplication is taken into account. Also, it is important that in any historical investigations that we consider, appropriate consent from the family members is obtained in advance.”

The Care Quality Commissions’ Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Ted Baker, has stated that further action is being taken against the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust after areas were highlighted as having safety fears during an inspection last month within the trust’s maternity services.

Professor Baker said, “This action is subject to a period of appeal and we will provide further information when the legal process allows.”

A spokesperson speaking on behalf of SaTH, said “In line with normal CQC processes, we will be making representations to them in respect of this matter within the permitted 28-day timeframe.”

 

Buchanan, Michael. ‘Shropshire Hospital Baby Deaths Review Cases Rise to Over 100.’ BBC News Online.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-45578515  (20 September 2018).

 

 

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