Shropshire Star

Shropshire baby scandal: Maternity recommendation must be implemented, says MP

Telford MP Lucy Allan says "urgent action" on the recommendations contained in a shocking review into Shropshire's maternity services is essential.

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She said there must be no delay in implementing the recommendations from Donna Ockenden's harrowing report into maternity services at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).

The report has identified numerous failings and said that there were "missed opportunities to learn in order to prevent serious harm to mothers and babies".

The review states that "in some serious incident reports the findings and conclusions failed to identify the underlying failings in maternity care."

It adds: "The review team has also seen correspondence and documentation which often focussed on blaming the mothers rather than considering objectively the systems, structures and processes underpinning maternity services at the trust."

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Ms Allan said: "I would like to express my deepest sympathies to all those women who were failed by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust – women whose concerns were dismissed for so long and whose voices were not heard.

"The findings of the review are deeply harrowing. The scale of the malpractice is horrifying, but so too was the response by the trust: the lack of empathy with women and lack of humility, until recently, for the devastating shortcomings, was unimaginable.

"There was a clear imbalance of power between male consultants and female patients when they were at their most vulnerable. Too often, as in the Morecambe Bay baby deaths scandal, women were told their case was a one off, or that there will always be risks to childbirth that cannot be mitigated.

"Failings and poor care at SaTH were normalised and trivialised. The refusal to address the concerns women raised perpetuated the culture of poor care and allowed it to continue unchecked.

"I am glad there is now a criminal investigation into what happened. However, what is of fundamental importance is to ensure urgent action is taken on the recommendations in today’s report so that the systemic malpractice and the normalisation of it are now firmly in the past and families can begin to see real change in the quality of maternity care."

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