Damning Inquiry Finds Over 200 Baby Deaths Were Avoidable
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Trigger Warning: This article discusses baby loss
A report investigating Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has revealed poor maternity care led to more than 200 avoidable baby deaths.
The long awaited inquiry, released on Wednesday, found there were a total of 295 avoidable baby deaths or brain damage cases, between the years of 2000 and 2019 at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
It is reported that several mothers died, while some had vaginal births where they should have been offered a caesarean.
Alongside the catastrophic number of baby deaths, some infants suffered life-altering injuries, including fractured skulls and broken bones, while others were starved of oxygen.
Maternity expert Donna Ockenden, who led the inquiry, said: “Throughout our final report we have highlighted how failures in care were repeated from one incident to the next.
“For example, ineffective monitoring of foetal growth and a culture of reluctance to perform caesarean sections resulted in many babies dying during birth or shortly after their birth.
“In many cases, mother and babies were left with life-long conditions as a result of their care and treatment.
“The reasons for these failures are clear. There were not enough staff, there was a lack of ongoing training, there was a lack of effective investigation and governance at the trust and a culture of not listening to the families involved.
“There was a tendency of the trust to blame mothers for their poor outcomes, in some cases even for their own deaths.
“What is astounding is that for more than two decades these issues have not been challenged internally and the trust was not held to account by external bodies.”
The report was published on Wednesday and examined cases involving 1,486 families and reviewed 1,592 incidents.
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who ordered the review in 2017, said the numbers were "worse" than he could have imagined.
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