201 babies & nine mothers died in biggest ever NHS maternity scandal: in Damning five-year inquiry
More than 200 babies needlessly died in the NHS's biggest ever maternity scandal, according to a damning inquiry which has prompted victims to call for the police to prosecute hospital bosses.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust presided over catastrophic failings for 20 years and failed to learn from its own inadequate investigations, which led to dozens of babies being stillborn, dying shortly after birth or being left severely brain damaged due to an obsession with natural births.
The landmark probe claimed 201 babies and nine mothers would have survived if the Shropshire trust provided better care. Ninety-four children suffered avoidable brain damage. Mothers were even blamed for their own deaths and their 'poor outcomes'.
Donna Ockenden, the senior midwife in charge of the five-year investigation which looked at almost 1,600 incidents between 2000 and 2019, revealed families were still coming forward in 2021 to complain of safety issues with the maternity department.
Ex-Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today said the scale of the problem was even 'worse' than he imagined when he ordered the probe.
Sajid Javid, currently in charge of the Department of Health, called the findings of the Ockenden report 'tragic' and 'harrowing'. He promised such appalling failures would never happen again.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons: 'Every woman giving birth has the right to a safe birth and my heart therefore goes out to the families for the distress and suffering they have endured.'
Meanwhile, Richard Stanton, whose daughter Kate Stanton-Davies died shortly after being born under the Trust's watch in 2009, described the report as a 'watershed moment' for the NHS. He added: 'I hope the police will now have sufficient evidence to present to the CPS for a prosecution.'
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust's chief executive Louise Barnett today apologised for the pain and affected families had endured. But another grieving parent, Kayleigh Griffiths, said the organisation's 'words aren't going to be enough'.
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