Updated re. Cwm Taf Health Board Investigation – More families included in Shrewsbury and Telford maternity review

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*UPDATED October 2018* Cwm Taf Health Board has today announced an investigation into 43 maternity cases over more than two years which resulted in “adverse outcomes”. Our expert solicitors will continue to monitor the situation, if you think you have been affected please contact us.

jackie-linehan-enable-lawA review into maternity care at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust has been widened to include more cases. A series of baby deaths at the Trust led then-Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to order the investigation, which is being conducted by a senior midwife. The number of infant deaths being investigated has risen from the original 23, potentially resulting in a larger tragedy than that at the Morecambe Bay trust in Cumbria, where 11 avoidable baby deaths occurred.

Shropshire maternity deaths – what happened?

In 2017, Jeremy Hunt ordered an investigation into a series of baby deaths at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. At least seven of the deaths in a two year period were later found to be avoidable, and failure to monitor the baby’s heart rate was a contributory factor in at least five of the cases.

Maternity care at the Trust has been the subject of six separate enquiries, and there has been severe criticism of the way in which lessons are learned following maternity care errors. In 2009 an NHS England investigation found a “lack of safety culture” meant that staff had not been held accountable for the failures which led to the death of baby Kate Stanton-Davies.

The Trust has admitted that patients came to harm as a result of “failings” in maternity and neonatal care.

Why is the investigation growing?

This is partly due to the large number of simultaneous investigations which have been taking place. These cases will now also be considered by the independent review, along with the original 23 which were part of its remit. Having heard about the inquiry, other families have also come forward.

Is Telford & Shrewsbury maternity care safe?

In 2017 the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists were invited to carry out a review of the maternity services offered by the Trust. The first report from the review was received by the trust in January this year, and the maternity service has responded to the recommendations made. The Trust says that their infant mortality rate is in line with the national average.

What should I do if I think my baby was affected?

You can speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service for the hospital on 01743 261691 or 01952 641222 Ext 4382, and tell them about your concerns.

Jackie Linehan is a Legal Director at Enable Law and has helped many families who have a child with a disability due to poor maternity management or who have lost a family member due to hospital negligence.

The Enable Law team work with many charities specialising in helping families affected by baby loss, including Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, and Child Bereavement UK, who help parents and children affected by bereavement.

If you think you or your baby have been affected by maternity negligence and would like to talk to an expert, you can speak to Jackie on 03303 116755 or email Jackie.linehan@enablelaw.com. If you would like to speak to our in-house midwife, Liz can be reached on 03303 116905, or at Elizabeth.laws@enablelaw.com.

For enquiries relating to any kind of medical negligence or personal injury, call our enquiry line on 0800 044 8488 or click here.