Wider NHS 'should be held accountable' for maternity failures at Shropshire's hospitals – campaigners

Health campaigners say the wider NHS should be held accountable for the failures that have come to light in the review of maternity services at Shropshire's hospitals.

Campaigner Gill George
Campaigner Gill George

The Ockenden review, which is looking into more than 1,800 cases of alleged poor care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, delivered its initial findings and recommendations for improvement on Thursday.

Gill George, chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Defend Our NHS, says the avoidable deaths and harm identified by Donna Ockenden and her team represents "a tragedy of monumental proportions".

She claims it not only represents a failure by SaTH, but also by the NHS ‘system’ in the area.

See also:

Ms George said: "The failures cover every aspect of maternity care: a lack of kindness and compassion; poor assessment of risk; failure to escalate concerns appropriately; poor management of labour with a repeated failure to learn from poor outcomes; traumatic births via forceps delivery where obstetricians failed to follow guidelines and bereavement care that was at times inadequate, inappropriate or non-existent.

"There are even examples of mothers being blamed for the deaths of their babies.

"It’s time for some accountability. Babies and women were let down by SaTH – and by the wider NHS system that was responsible for keeping maternity care safe.

"The public has a right to know why local and regional NHS leaders kept quiet, and why their failure led to ongoing harm and deaths."

The Ockenden review, which was launched by then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2017, is due to deliver its full findings next year.

The initial findings followed the review of 250 cases, including the original 23.

They found that 27 actions need to be 'implemented at pace' by the trust which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

In addition, a further seven 'immediate and essential actions' have been made which not only apply to SaTH, but also maternity services across England.

Louise Barnett, SaTH's chief executive, said: "We commit to implementing all of the actions in this report and I can assure the women and families who use our service that if they raise any concerns about their care they will be listened to and action will be taken.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News