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Sandwell hospital trust investigated after sixth maternal death

By George Makin | Birmingham | Health | Published:

A hospital trust which was cleared of wrongdoing in the deaths of five pregnant women is being investigated again after another woman died.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospital Trust, which runs Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich and City Hospital in Birmingham, has revealed the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch is investigating after the woman died during childbirth.

In September, it published a review into the deaths of a mother and four pregnant women who were treated at City Hospital, saying there was "no evidence of poor care".

But a report to a meeting this week shows a sixth woman died only days after that investigation was published.

In the latest report, a summary states: “Woman in her first pregnancy with spontaneous rupture of membranes in early September. Induction of labour with delivery of baby in good condition using forceps.

“Patient reported chest pain then became unresponsive but despite resuscitation passed away.”

City Hospital in Birmingham

Two months ago, the trust announced the findings of independent investigators into the deaths of five women who died between August 2017 and January 2019.

Four were pregnant at the time they died and one woman passed away less than a month after giving birth. Only two of the deaths occurred in hospital.

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The trust said it ordered the review to ensure its own investigations were thorough and all areas of learning in the treatment and care of the patients had been identified.

Investigators cleared staff of any wrongdoing despite concerns the best care was not followed in three cases saying that it did not directly contribute to the deaths.

In September, the trust said the review showed no evidence of poor care or preventable death and each of the women had different care needs and complexities either related to their pregnancy or other medical conditions, with three of the deaths occurring outside the hospital setting.

In a statement the trust declined to disclose the woman’s name or reveal the cause of death in the latest case.

Paula Gardner, chief nurse, said: “It is with sadness that we report a maternal death that occurred at City Hospital during September.

“We have conducted an initial review of the case and, in line with normal procedure, the case was reported to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch who will carry out an independent investigation.”

George Makin

By George Makin
@GeorgePMakin

Local Democracy Reporter covering Sandwell and Dudley.

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