NHS trust investigated over deaths of 15 babies and 3 mums

NHS chiefs are investigating the deaths of 15 babies and three mums at maternity units run by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The investigation has so far found that several of the deaths were avoidable and some were allegedly caused by failures to correctly monitor heartbeats or spot infections early.

The investigation team are also reviewing a further 10 cases of medical negligence where patients survived near-misses but suffered pain and suffering.

A Daily Mirror investigation has also discovered that medical professionals employed by the trust are the focus of inquiries and at least four midwives are being investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Rhiannon Stanton-Davies, whose daughter died at the hands of the trust is furious that lessons have not been learned from alleged blunders and deaths are still occurring.

She said bosses at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust claimed they had learned lessons after her daughter Kate passed away in 2009 due to failures in her care.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust were heavily criticised over their maternity care last year after Kate’s death.

“It’s shocking that babies have continued to die needlessly despite everything the trust said it had learned since Kate’s death”, Rhiannon added.

“You can’t put this massive tragedy down to one thing. It is not one individual.

“It is that mistakes continue to happen, nothing is ever learned, and so more babies die. Even when the mistakes are obvious, the trust has not learned from them.”

The review after Kate’s death found that midwives at the maternity unit in Ludlow, Shropshire, repeatedly failed to spot signs that Rhiannon’s pregnancy was risky.

Earlier this month, an inquest into the death of one-day-old Pippa Griffiths from a streptococcus infection ruled she may have lived had she received better medical care while under the trust.

Pippa’s mum, Kayleigh, said: “We expected better from the NHS. We really did. But Pippa was failed.”

The trust has since accepted that if staff had spotted the infection earlier Pippa would probably have survived.

The chief executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Simon Wright said: “The death of a baby is the most tragic event imaginable and we again apologise unreservedly to the families.

“The trust has carried out investigations into every case to ensure lessons can be learned. We are co-operating fully with the review. We have also invited a review by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives to evaluate our service and provide assistance with improvement.

“However, it is our firm belief that our service provides safe care for women and babies.”

NHS Improvement director Kathy McLean said its review will also look at the way a number of previous investigations were undertaken”.

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