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Breaking News Update: Investigation Into Shropshire Baby Deaths And Injuries - Interim Report Published

View profile for Guy Pomphrey
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The first report of the independent review into maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust was published on 10 December 2020.  The report has rightly called for change across NHS Hospitals to prevent avoidable deaths and injuries to babies. 

The Inquiry

Our medical negligence team have been following this review closely (read our previous blogs here).  Donna Ockenden, leading the review, was originally asked back in 2017 to look at 23 cases involving injuries and deaths of babies and mothers during childbirth but since her investigation first started she has since been contacted by 1,862 families raising concerns.

The parents of Kate Stanton Davies and Pippa Griffiths (babies who tragically died in 2009 and 2016 respectively) bravely persisted in calling for an independent review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust (the “Trust”).  The report found that their concerns were right and acknowledges that their children’s deaths were both avoidable.

Report Findings

The report found there was a lack of kindness and compassion from members of the maternity team at the Trust.  There were cases where mothers were incorrectly blamed when babies had died or been injured which further compounded families’ grief and despair.   It is also noted that when concerns about care were raised they were dismissed or ignored.  

The review team reported that the culture at the Trust was to keep caesarean section rates low because this was perceived as good maternity care. The report subsequently found that in some cases, earlier recourse to a caesarean delivery would have avoided death and injury.

A copy of the full report can be found here.

Recommendations

As a result of her findings, Ms Ockenden is recommending that all maternity services across the country take immediate and essential action in seven areas to improve safety:

  1. Enhanced safety;
  2. Listening to women and families;
  3. Staff training and working together;
  4. Managing complex pregnancy;
  5. Risk assessment throughout pregnancy;
  6. Monitoring fetal wellbeing; and
  7. Informed consent

The report also lists 27 specific actions that the Trust must immediately carry out.

Views on the Report

We welcome Donna Ockenden’s report findings.  An open and honest discussion about the standard of maternity services across the country is an important step in reducing the number of avoidable injuries to babies from sub-standard care that we see too often with our cases.

A lot of NHS maternity care is exceptional; however, with our cerebral palsy cases, we regularly see similar problems that have caused very serious baby injuries.  Failing to properly understand and act upon fetal heart traces and not listing to parental wishes and concerns (in particular, a preference for a C-section) are regularly issues that our team encounter.

Information about your right to choose how you deliver your baby can be found here.

Claiming compensation for poor maternity care

We regularly help families find out what has happened with the care they have received in the most challenging of circumstances.  If you suspect you or your baby have received poor NHS maternity care we can help and you or your baby may be entitled to compensation. 

Our medical negligence lawyers specialise in birth injury cases.  We support families in tragic circumstances relating to: cerebral palsy, brain injuries, stillbirths and neonatal injuries. 

For more information about birth injuries visit out dedicated page or read some of our Case Studies to find out more about how we have helped other families and how we can help you.

We recognise that this is a very difficult situation. Our team of solicitors offer you empathetic, clear and practical support to help you pursue your case under the most challenging times.

Click here to read why our clients have chosen us to help them and how we can help you.

Contact us

If you or a family member have received poor maternity care from Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust or any other NHS Hospital please contact our leading clinical negligence solicitors.

Submit an “Ask Us a Question Form" from our website or call us on 0113 245 8549.