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What can be learnt from Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust?

What can be learnt from Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust?

Some medical negligence cases can be very complex and lengthy. Take the case of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust where initial findings from a review, which was led by midwife Donna Ockenden, have finally been published, some 3 years after an urgent investigation was launched.

More than 1800 cases

In April 2017, the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced an enquiry into a cluster of avoidable baby deaths at the Trust. Initially it was focused on 23 cases, where maternity failings were alleged, but in the intervening years this figure has grown to more than 1800 cases between 2000 and 2019.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust were accused of operating a culture that denied women choice and subjected hundreds of families to unsafe care. By trying to avoid deliveries by caesarean section to keep the rate low, something which the Trust perceived as the “essence of good maternity care” led to the death of 40 babies and more than a dozen women, as well as incidents of more than 50 children who suffered brain damage.

Mixed emotions

Kiran Jalota, Head of Medical Negligence and Personal Injury said, “I welcome the report and hope that the systemwide suggestions and recommendations for action to improve maternity care can be speedily implemented. It is a time of mixed emotions, with families affected still struggling to come to terms with what they have experienced. I sincerely hope lessons can be learnt so that the high levels of pain and suffering including traumatic births, excessive force, lack of compassion and poor care are never repeated.”

Kiran added, “In total, the Shropshire Trust were given 27 actions to improve safety. These included undertaking risk assessments for mothers at every antenatal appointment, providing better information and offering choices to women, as well as significant improvements in baby monitoring and instructions that staff follow official guidance on care and use of oxytocin. Furthermore, the trust must improve its investigation of incidents and ensure consultants are involved in the care of all complex cases with twice-daily ward rounds on maternity units including night shifts.”

Kiran concludes, “As an experienced medical negligence lawyer, it’s my job to recover necessary compensation for victims of negligence who have suffered physical and/or psychological injury. However, it is equally as important for me to help people to rebuild their lives following what can be a traumatic and tragic hospital experience. I hope that the victims of this case receive both financial compensation and the care and compassion that they are due.

If you want to find out more, you can order a copy of the interim findings, but please note that a full report on the trust and considering all 1,862 cases will be published later this year. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ockenden-review-of-maternity-services-at-shrewsbury-and-telford-hospital-nhs-trust

Free initial meeting for support and advice

We have a vast amount of experience in medical negligence, meaning we can provide vital help and support during the process. We are easily accessible with a network of offices in Leamington, Coventry, Nuneaton and Southam. For an informal chat and quality advice, please contact Kiran Jalota Head of Medical Negligence and Personal at Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd on 01926 356000 or email kiran.jalota@alsterskelley.com


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