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.
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).
BBC Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine/Rob Sissons)