An inquiry into the deaths and injuries of babies at Shrewsbury and the Telford NHS Trust maternity unit has now been widened to include at least an additional 60 cases. More families have now come forward with concerns spanning a total of 19 years that include baby deaths, brain injuries and the deaths of at least four mothers.
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 – 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.”
The fresh dispute over the quality of maternity care at the Trust centres on a separate inquiry which the Trust itself has been undertaking into historical cases of injury caused by alleged poor care. The cases reported to its “legacy review” are in addition to the 23 cases that were part of the original government inquiry.
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.
It is important that families who have questions or concerns over the care provided are given the chance to have them explored. The trust has asked anyone concerned about their maternity services to contact them on 01743 261691.
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