28 July 2020 | Comment | Article by Mari Rosser
The ongoing investigation into care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is now the largest ever review of maternity care in the NHS’ history.
It has recently been revealed that nearly 1,900 incidents are now being reviewed that spread over the last 20 years. This update comes after a separate report stated that the trust had delayed publishing a critical report into maternity care standards for fear of a public and media backlash.
In January 2017 Jeremy Hunt, then the health secretary, ordered an independent inquiry to examine 23 cases of mother and baby deaths and injuries at hospitals in Shropshire. In total, seven baby deaths were found to have been avoidable between September 2014 and May 2016, while two more were never properly investigated. The majority of the avoidable deaths involved a failure to properly monitor foetal heart rates.
In August 2018, an NHS Improvement spokesman said it had agreed “to consider additional historical investigations where women, infants and newborn babies had died or suffered harm in the maternity services provided by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.”
In June 2020, it was reported that West Mercia Police was conducting a criminal investigation into maternity care at the Shrewsbury and Telford trust.
It is hoped that the wider inquiry will finally give answers to families who have been affected by the healthcare services provided by the Trust.
Have you or a family member been affected by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust scandal?
Hugh James has produced a helpful guide with information on what to do if you or a family member has been affected by this. Please follow the link to download your free information guide.
It is important that families who have questions or concerns over the care provided are given the chance to have them explored. If you have any concern Hugh James has a launched a free helpline on 0800 048 1849 where you can voice your concerns with a legal professional.
Hugh James acts for a number clients in claims against Cwm Taf Health Board, where an independent review of 43 pregnancies between January 2016 and September 2018 was undertaken. In that instance 79 recommendations were made to the Health Board.
Mari Rosser, Head of Medical Negligence, said:
There are a worrying number of themes emerging which are common to both this enquiry and the ongoing Enquiry into the maternity services at Cwm Taf UHB. Perhaps the most concerning of these from the patients’ perspective will be the apparent failure to heed the criticisms made in earlier reports. In both instances, it has also been highlighted that there are issues around the management culture which have allowed unsafe practices to continue unchecked. It is vital that lessons are learnt in both of these ongoing enquiries in the interest of patient safety.