Shropshire parents in pledge to help grieving families

They are parents who had to deal with the death of their daughter and then fight for the truth surrounding her death.

Rhiannon Davies of Ludlow Shropshire pictured with her daughter Kate just moments after her birth
Rhiannon Davies of Ludlow Shropshire pictured with her daughter Kate just moments after her birth

And now they have put all they have learned from their six-and-a-half year fight into a proposal to set up a new investigative body.

Richard Stanton and Rhiannon Davies lost their baby daughter Kate Stanton-Davies just hours after she was born in March 2009, at Ludlow's midwife-led unit.

Kate's death will now be re-investigated following a damning report by NHS England into the original investigation.

During their fight for justice Richard and Rhiannon have engaged with more than 22 different official organisations, an experience that has led them to propose setting up a new body called the Fatal Incident Task Force (FITF).

This task force would automatically look into an unexpected death resulting from a sudden untoward incident in a healthcare setting.

Ms Davies said the objectives of this new body would be truth, learning and accountability.

She said: "We created this document for national change, to prevent the harm that has befallen us from affecting others who lose loved ones as a result of a fatal incident in a clinical setting.

"We have given a copy of it to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in person and to Murray Anderson-Walker from Patient Stories, who has our permission to share it with the Clinical Human Factors Group, who are working on proposals for a new independent investigation body.

"As a family that has been all the way through this and explored every single avenue, we feel strongly that we should be listened to because we have valuable experience and learning to bring to the table."

The couple's 11-page draft document, written by Ms Davies with the backing and support of Mr Stanton, outlines the establishment of the FITF, which they say would provide an independent, multi-agency response to unexpected deaths in the healthcare system.

The FITF has already received an endorsement from the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).

Dr Anthony Marsh, chief executive of WMAS, said: "West Midlands Ambulance Service continues to work closely with Richard Stanton and Rhiannon Davies and other health organisations, to introduce a series of recommendations set out by the FITF such as escalation to other agencies in the event of a series incident."

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