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31.08.18

Scandal-hit Shrewsbury and Telford trust labels maternity failings accusations as ‘incorrect and irresponsible’

A scandal-hit maternity ward facing reports that dozens more poor cases of care have been discovered at the unit has hit back at the allegations, branding them “factually inaccurate and untrue.”

A report by the Health Service Journal identified more cases of poor care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital (SaTH) NHS Trust’s maternity unit, which is already being investigated for care failures of 23 families.

The report claimed that there are multiple separate investigations into the maternity care unit at the trust, including the provider’s own internal investigation of 40 cases which, the report said, families say “cannot be trusted to objective.”

Leading midwife Donna Ockenden was appointed by the government last year to independently review the 23 cases of alleged failings in maternity care— and families are now calling on Ockenden to expand her caseload to the allegations.

But the trust, in a statement released today, said: “We were initially asked to review 40 cases, which looked back over 19 years from 1998 to 2017.

“There were 16 families who came forward with questions about their care and another 24 who were put forward for SaTH to review by the independent midwife leading the secretary of state enquiry.”

SaTH went on to say that, of the cases, “there were no signs of failure of care in 23 reviews,” and five families were not identifiable from the information available.

Of the remaining 12 families, the trust said that “there may be potential for further learning.” It has written to the families to seek permission for their care to be reviewed by independent clinical experts to ensure that any lesson is identified.

Simon Wright, chief executive at SaTH, said: “The death of any baby is a terrible ordeal for any family. We take our responsibilities in reviewing these cases very seriously. To suggest that there are more cases which have not been revealed when this is simply untrue is irresponsible and scaremongering.

“This will cause unnecessary anxiety amongst women going through one of the most important times of their life and I would like to assure them that our maternity services are a safe environment with dedicated caring staff.

“If anyone has any concerns we would be happy to discuss them,” he added.

In a video, Jo Banks, women and children’s group director, said: “The trust has worked very openly with the secretary of state review led by NHS Improvement to review a number of cases spanning 19 years.

“What is not true is that the cases that are cited in the media today are new cases that have been uncovered—all of the cases described, the trust are fully aware of, have been fully involved in, and fully engaged in the process with the families, with NHSI, and with our stakeholders such as our commissioners so that we understand if there’s any further learning or understanding to me made.”

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Image credit: pixdeluxe

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