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Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust Maternity Care Scandal

  • Published: Thursday February 24, 2022
  • Category: Maternity
  • Tags: maternity, Shrewsbury-and-Telford-Hospital,

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).”