Charities and internal investigations
The review into maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has announced it expects to publish initial findings and essential recommendations on 10 December 2020.
The review of maternity care at SaTH was first commissioned by then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2017, after two sets of parents who had both lost children as a result of poor standards of care raised concerns. Initially 23 cases were to be reviewed but the numbers soon started to rise.
When my colleague Punam Sood wrote an article regarding the inquiry last summer, there were over 500 cases under review. The final number of maternity cases that will be reviewed now stands at 1,862. They concern potential substandard care provided to babies and mothers stretching back to 1979.
An internal report leaked last year raised issues including babies suffering brain damage due to failures to notice labour was going wrong, failures to treat group B strep or meningitis and babies’ heartbeats not being monitored properly during labour. Medical negligence lawyers acting for some of the families suggested at the time that they were "repeatedly seeing the same errors - failures in relation to heart trace monitoring and realising the baby is in distress, delays in taking women for an emergency caesarean and issues with the wrong use of forceps".
Midwifery expert Donna Ockenden is leading the inquiry into SaTH’s maternity care. The inquiry will publish an “emerging findings” report on 10 December 2020 based on their review of a selection of 250 cases, including the original 23 cases that initiated the maternity review. Specific findings in individual cases are likely to take much longer.
Our team at Kingsley Napley has investigated many cases involving stillbirths, babies who pass away shortly after birth and those born with injuries as a result of childbirth. If you would like some advice on your options and how we can help you, please contact our Medical Negligence & Personal Injury team – alternatively you can call us on 020 7814 1200, or by email at email@example.com.
Christopher is an Associate in the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Department. He deals with all aspects of medical negligence and personal injury claims, including birth injury, fatal accidents, visual and sensory impairment and accidents in the workplace.
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