More than 24,000 sign Shropshire parents' petition for national maternity inquiry
More than 24,000 people have now signed a petition calling for a national maternity inquiry.
The campaign was launched last month by four parents whose efforts uncovered Shropshire's maternity scandal.
The past weekend saw the number of people adding their names to the call surpass 20,000, with the number standing at 24,004 at the time of writing.
The campaign was set up by Rhiannon Davies and Richard Stanton, and Kayleigh and Colin Griffiths.
It has come as the couples have also been challenging the CQC over the quality of its own inspections of maternity services across the country.
Ms Davies and Mr Stanton's daughter Kate died avoidably while in the care of Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), as did Pippa, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Griffiths.
The couples fought to uncover the inadequate state of the county's maternity services, with Donna Ockenden's review into SaTH eventually concluding that failings at the trust had contributed to the deaths of more than 200 babies and mothers.
Both couples received MBEs earlier this year in recognition of their efforts to improve maternity safety in the country.
Ms Davies said she had been overwhelmed at seeing more than 20,000 people back their bid for a national inquiry – adding that it was emotional seeing that so many people care about the issue.
Asked what she made of the petition passing the 20,000 milestone, Ms Davies said: "It was just 'wow'. To get to 10,000 was our initial ambition. It hit 10,000 and we were so elated and grateful.
"It is just so heartening that people care and that they do believe in our vision – not just understanding the issues that are affecting all four nations but working together for a solution, how we can hopefully create a step-change for a generation."
Ms Davies said they had also been encouraged by the messages shared by those signing the petition.
She said: "The majority of people have written really heartening messages and it has always felt like it is just us – it is shouting into the void, but it is not just us, there are lots of people who agree."
Ms Davies said they had now raised the target for the petition – and said they are focused on providing answers for all four countries of the United Kingdom.
She said: "We have extended the ambitions because we feel we have to try and be positive. We have to try and look to the solution."
She added: "We bang on about it all the time, that healthcare needs to change, women are having babies older and we need to make sure services are fit for purpose and safe."
For information on the petition, and updates on the progress of the campaign, visit change.org/p/national-maternity-inquiry.