MATERNITY SCANDAL AT SHROPSHIRE NHS TRUST: THE WORST MATERNITY SCANDAL IN NHS HISTORY

MATERNITY SCANDAL AT SHROPSHIRE NHS TRUST: THE WORST MATERNITY SCANDAL IN NHS HISTORY Credit: Shutterstock

A LEAKED report exposes an appalling maternity scandal at Shropshire NHS trust

The review covers hundreds of cases between 1979 and 2017. The full extent of the scandal is expected to be found even worse as more cases are reviewed. The initial figures indicate that at least 42 babies and three mothers may have died unnecessarily and more than 50 newborns suffered avoidable brain damage at a hospital trust, in what is believed to be the worst maternity scandal in NHS history.

The document, initially leaked to the Independent, found a “toxic” culture and substandard care, the paper reported yesterday (Tuesday).

Reports inform how parents were frequently treated unkindly by staff and their concerns about treatment were dismissed, the report said. Staff got dead babies’ names wrong and in one case referred to a baby who had died as “it”.

The inquiry, was ordered by the government in July 2017, 15 months before the trust was put into special measures. It is being carried out by Donna Ockenden, a maternity expert.

The initial scope of the inquiry was to investigate 23 cases but this has now grown to more than 270. They include 22 stillbirths, three deaths during pregnancy, 17 deaths of babies after birth, three deaths of mothers, 47 cases of substandard care and 51 cases of cerebral palsy or brain damage.

Just three of several specific failures identified in the document include:

  • Babies left brain-damaged because staff failed to realise or act upon signs that labour was going wrong.
  • Inadequate monitoring of heart rates during labour and poor risk assessment during pregnancy, resulting in the deaths of some children.
  • Babies left brain-damaged from group B strep or meningitis, which can often be treated by antibiotics.

The inquiry was launched after a campaign by the Stanton-Davies family, whose daughter Kate died shortly after birth in 2009, and Kayleigh and Colin Griffiths, whose daughter Pippa died shortly after birth in 2016.

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Written by

Cristina Hodgson

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