Maternity Unit Deaths Investigated

Northwick Park Hospital

14.04.2008

An NHS trust where 10 new mothers died in a maternity unit is looking in to three further deaths, it confirmed.

The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust is reviewing the three deaths, which occurred between June 2007 and March 2008 at Northwick Park Hospital.

The maternity unit was put in special measures in 2005 after it was revealed that the death rate for new mothers was much higher than the national average.

Ten women died there between April 2002 and April 2005.

A subsequent Healthcare Commission report found a number of failures contributed to nine of the deaths, including the lack of response to changes in patients' condition and poor staff communication.

The unit was taken out of special measures in September 2006.

Louise Forsyth from law firm Irwin Mitchell, who represented one of the 10 women who dies between 2002 and 2005 said: "After the tragic death of my client's wife at Northwick Park in 2004 special measures were put in place to avoid anything like that happening again. I am therefore very concerned to learn of a further 3 deaths over 10 months so soon after these special measures were lifted and the hospital gave assurances that maternity services had been improved."

"A thorough investigation should now take place with the Healthcare Commission becoming involved once again to reassure patients that lessons have been learned."