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Deaths of five mothers to be probed by hospital trust

By Richard Guttridge | Sandwell | Health | Published:

The deaths of five mothers are to be investigated by Sandwell's NHS trust, it has emerged.

City Hospital

The women died over the last 18 months, and two within the last four months. Toby Lewis, chief executive of the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said they would be looking at whether any lessons can be learned from the "tragedies".

Babies are delivered at City Hospital in Birmingham as there is currently no maternity ward at Sandwell General. It is not yet clear how many of the mothers died in hospital.

Mr Lewis said the trust, which runs both hospitals, would carry out the investigation over the next two months. The deaths of the mothers, which have been described as "serious incidents" were revealed by Mr Lewis in a report to board members.

He said: "Over the next two months we will also complete exploratory investigative work into five maternal deaths over the past eighteen months.

"This work will frame any external advice we commission to help to understand what we can learn from these tragedies, of which two have occurred over the last four months.

"Both the families effected, and our own employees, are being provided with support."

Chief nurse Paula Gardner said: “It is always very sad when anyone dies in our care and we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those affected.

“As with all serious incidents, an internal investigation is carried out into why they occurred. The chief executive and I will then commission external advice to support the Ttust and the maternity team to learn for the future. By being open about what has happened, we believe that local people should retain confidence in the integrity of the organisation’s commitment to safety and quality.

“We have also ensured that the families affected and our employees have been given bereavement support following these tragic cases.”

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said it could not provide more details on the deaths as the investigations remained at an early stage.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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