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The largest maternity scandal to ever hit the NHS has found that poor maternity care through The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust led to 295 avoidable baby deaths or brain damage cases .

There has been catastrophic failing over nearly 20 years according to the inquiry led by maternity expert Donna Ockenden.  The final Ockenden report can be found here.

https://www.ockendenmaternityreview.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/FINAL_INDEPENDENT_MATERNITY_REVIEW_OF_MATERNITY_SERVICES_REPORT.pdf

Several mothers also died through failings in medical care.  There was an overzealous pursuit to guide mothers to give birth naturally rather than being offered a freedom of choice and where a Caesarean would have been a much safer option.

It is reported that The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust didn’t perform their own investigations of misconduct properly were in a format not recognised by the NHS.  The Trust downgraded some investigations initially.

Of the 295 babies who died, it is likely that had they received appropriate care they would have survived.  There are 65 cases of Cerebral Palsy and severe brain injuries that are likely to have been avoidable.  It is also likely deemed that 9 women who died through labour, who would have reasonably been expected to survive if they had been treated correctly.

Numerous factors are at play including The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s failure to learn lessons from previous failings, staffing pressures and shortages, aggressive forceps deliveries and reluctance to listening to mums.

The report has looked at cases involving over 1400 families.  There were repeated failings in care from one incident to the next.  “ineffective monitoring of foetal growth and a culture of reluctance to perform Caesarean sections”. Dozens of children suffered life changing injuries as a result of the failures.

The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust is not the only Trust where questions have been raised about maternity care and similar investigations are being requested across the country.

If you or a member of your family have been affected by this scandal, or have concerns about maternity treatment from another NHS Trust please do not hesitate to contact us at Graystons on 0151 645 0055.  We will be happy to speak to see if we can help you in relation to suspected clinical negligence.. 

Please be assured there is no initial charge for getting in touch with us and if we are able to assist you in relation to a potential medical negligence claim, we may be able to act for you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee Agreement).

 

Sources                 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/shrewsbury-telford-hospital-maternity-scandal-nhs-live-b2046627.html

BBC Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine/Rob Sissons)

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Following on from our blog earlier this year, the enquiry into Britain’s worst maternity scandal will come to an end this week with the publication of senior midwife, Donna Ockenden’s report.

As reported by The Telegraph, the five-year review is set to conclude that 300 babies died avoidably or suffered brain damage which is a considerable increase on the figure quoted by the interim report published in 2020 of 250 babies.

The five-year review was prompted by the emergence of multiple cases of stillbirths, maternal deaths and babies born with brain injuries at the Trust dating back 20 years which have since been attributed to the Trust’s fixation to deliver natural births even in situations where it would have been safer to proceed with a caesarean.

The families affected by the scandal have said that this should be a “watershed moment” for the NHS describing what they have witnessed as an institutional and systemic failure of regional health care at all levels.

The finalised report is due to be published officially on 30 March 2022.

You will find The Telegraph’s full article at Three hundred babies died or suffered brain damage in Shropshire maternity scandal, report finds (telegraph.co.uk)

If you believe that you, or a loved one, have suffered harm because of suspected clinical negligence, one of our specialist clinical negligence solicitors would be happy to speak with you and advise you as to your options. Please be assured there is no initial charge for discussing this with us, along with how to fund a case and the possibility of a no win no fee arrangement (conditional fee agreement or CFA).”

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An investigation to examine the standard of the maternity care services provided at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was opened in 2017 following the deaths of 23 babies under care of the Trust. Sadly, following its initial launch, many more families came forward.

Subsequently, an independent review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was launched. Donna Ockenden’s first published her report on 10 December 2020 which identified a significant number of failings by the midwives and obstetricians who did not demonstrate an appropriate level of competence on several occasions. The Ockenden Review identified 1,862 of individual cases where there were signs of substandard care which contributed to the death or caused serious injury to a baby and/or mother.

A copy of the report can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943011/Independent_review_of_maternity_services_at_Shrewsbury_and_Telford_Hospital_NHS_Trust.pdf

In February 2022 Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust declared a critical incident for the second time in a week resulting in the Trust now temporarily pausing a number of non-urgent services.

On 23 February 2022, a BBC Panorama documentary aired which again focused on the maternity care at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust. It is reported as one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NHS where many babies have died whilst others were left with life-changing injuries following repeated failures in maternity care at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Dr Bernie Bentick, a former Consultant Gynaecologist, who spent almost 30 years at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust says he told senior management several times about a deteriorating culture at the Trust.

The Royal College of Midwives also advised that there needs to be urgent action to address safety, understaffing and the poor cultures that sometimes arise because of unacceptable pressures on staff.

Donna Ockenden has confirmed that her second and final report out of the independent review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust will be published in full on 22 March 2022.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust declined to be interviewed for Panorama. In a statement it said:

“As a Trust we take full responsibility for the failings in the standards of care within our Maternity services. We offer our sincere apologies for all the distress and hurt we know this caused.”

If you believe that you, or a loved one, have suffered harm because of suspected clinical negligence, one of our specialist clinical negligence solicitors would be happy to speak with you and advise you as to your options, including a formal complaint and a legal claim. There is no initial charge for discussing this with us and we will talk you through your options, including how to fund a case and the possibility of a no win no fee arrangement (conditional fee agreement or CFA).”