More families come forward in Shropshire maternity inquiry

More families come forward in Shropshire maternity inquiry
By: WNG BBC Posted On: November 20, 2019 View: 53

More families come forward in Shropshire maternity inquiry

More families have come forward with concerns about maternity care at a hospital trust being investigated over multiple baby deaths.

A catalogue of maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust were contained in a report leaked to the Independent on Tuesday.

Rhiannon Davies, who campaigned for an inquiry after the death of her baby, said 25 new families had come forward overnight.

The NHS declined to comment.

One mother has told the BBC she intends to speak to the inquiry to get justice for her daughter who died in 1999. The 37-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, said it was the first time she had spoken about her experience.

She said she had a bleed early in her pregnancy and suffered with extreme morning sickness. The now mother-of-three said she felt concerns about her pregnancy were ignored before she lost her daughter at 20 weeks at Telford Princess Royal and a lack of support afterwards led to mental health problems.

"They should have raised a few queries. If they had listened to me, I don't think I would be telling this story," said the woman, who now lives in Staffordshire.

"I think they thought I was a silly girl who didn't know. It was my first pregnancy so I had nothing to base it on. I don't know if they looked into my treatment 20 years ago, I thought this is finally my chance to have an input.

"I hope other families also come forward."

An independent inquiry was launched in 2017 after then health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched an investigation into avoidable baby deaths at the trust, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford Princess Royal.

The probe is ongoing and led by maternity expert Donna Ockenden. Its initial scope was to examine 23 cases but this has now grown to more than 270, covering the period from 1979 to the present day.

The leaked report by Mrs Ockenden described a "toxic" culture within maternity care at the hospital trust.

It revealed some children were left disabled, staff got the names of some dead babies wrong and, in one case, referred to a child as "it".

The trust has apologised to families and said a lot has already been done to address the issues.

It is not yet known when the final report from the Ockenden Review will be published.

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