Shropshire maternity scandal: Inquiry's initial findings to be published next month

The independent review into maternity care at Shropshire's major hospitals is expected to publish its initial findings next month.

Donna Ockenden is leading the investigation into baby deaths at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which is looking into more than 1,800 cases.

The team now says it has a provisional date of when it will release the initial findings, which will also include essential safety recommendations for the trust.

A spokeswoman said: “We have a provisional date of December 10, subject to the Parliamentary timetable permitting, for the first report into maternity services at SaTH.

"This will be an emerging findings report and will include ‘essential and immediate actions’, as a result of our review of a selection of 250 cases of concern, which include the original 23 cases which initiated this independent maternity review.

"The emerging findings report will include ‘essential and immediate actions’ which we feel are necessary to ensure safe practice in maternity services at SaTH and will make a difference to the safe provision of maternity services elsewhere.”

Concerns

The inquiry was launched in 2017 by then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

It followed concerns raised by Rhiannon and Richard Stanton Davies, whose daughter Kate died shortly after birth in 2009, and Kayleigh and Colin Griffiths, whose daughter Pippa died shortly after birth in 2016.

The inquiry was initially looking at 23 cases, although it emerged in July that this had risen to 1,862 cases.

A leaked report into the inquiry last year revealed a catalogue of concerns and that dozens of babies and mothers are thought to have died or been left disabled due to poor care at SaTH.

West Mercia Police is also conducting an investigation to explore the alleged poor care and to see whether there is evidence to support a criminal case either against the trust or any individuals involved.

Louise Barnett, chief executive at SaTH, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, previously apologised for the distress caused to families and said the trust was committed to listening and working with Donna Ockenden’s review to ensure lessons are learned.

She said some progress in improving the standards of care for mothers and babies had been made but there was more to do.

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