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Shropshire maternity scandal: Review cases grow as hospital records examined

By Dominic Robertson | Health | Published:

More cases have been identified by a review of maternity care at the county's major hospitals, it has been confirmed.

Princess Royal Hospital in Telford

Donna Ockenden, the expert tasked with carrying out a review into Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), said she would not be drawn on the number of cases now involved in the inquiry but that her team had been contacted by a number of people after it was revealed last month that West Mercia Police is conducting an investigation into the care at the hospitals.

The trust is also in the process of examining its records for cases that may not have been included in the review process, that have taken place between 2000 and 2011.

Earlier this year it was confirmed 1,170 cases were now involved in the review, which began by looking at 23.

Mrs Ockenden, who was appointed to carry out the review in 2017 by the-then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said that SaTH has been providing information and records on cases involved.

She said: "The maternity review team are in regular contact with the trust. Working together, we will ensure that we are provided by the trust with information on all the cases of potentially serious concern that are relevant to our terms of reference.

Donna Ockenden

"As this work is ongoing – and will be for a short time to come we are not yet in a position to confirm the final numbers of cases that are under consideration by the maternity review team.

"We keep the families who have brought cases forward to the review updated as often as we can.

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"Our independent team of midwives and doctors continue to ensure that family voices remain central to everything we do."

The trust has also confirmed it is examining what are understood to be its paper records to identify cases that may not have yet been included in the review.

Maggie Bayley, Interim Chief Nurse at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), said: “In 2018 NHS Improvement (NHSI) commissioned an ‘Open Book’ review and SaTH was requested to ‘open its books’.

"The NHSI terms of reference for this process stated that it should be carried out as far as reasonably practical with the available data. Electronic systems were therefore used for this.

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“In May 2020, the Ockenden Review team asked the trust to search other records for cases between the years 2000 – 2011, that may not have been captured by the NHSI Open Book review or family self-referral, so that any potential new cases can be considered by the Ockenden Review team.

"We have done this and are now going through a checking process with the Ockenden Review Team of the additional cases we have found to ensure that there is no duplication.

“We continue to co-operate fully with the Ockenden Review team and are in regular contact with them to provide all requested information.”

The review was launched after parents Rhiannon Davies and Richard Stanton, whose daughter Kate died shortly after birth in 2009, and Kayleigh and Colin Griffiths, who lost their daughter Pippa shortly after she was born in 2016, outlined their concerns to Mr Hunt.

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