Irwin Mitchell Has Represented Number Of Families Affected By Failings At Trust
Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have called for lessons to be learned following the deaths of mums and babies who died amid a “toxic” culture at a hospital trust.
An interim report into maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, stretching back 40 years, has today been published.
The report found that at least 42 babies and three mums died while under the care of the Trust. More than 50 children had also been left with permanent brain damage when they were starved of oxygen.
Specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have represented a number of families affected by maternity services failings while receiving care from the Trust. A number of other people have now also instructed the company to investigate their care following publication of the report.
Lawyers have expressed their concern at the findings of the report which also warned that lessons were not being learned and staff were uncommunicative with families.
Expert Opinion“The scale of the problems connected to maternity services is extremely worrying.
“Not only are the issues identified in the report of great concern but many seem to have been avoidable.
“That lessons appear not to have been learned and the situation has arguably been allowed to turn into the biggest maternity scandal in the NHS – following issues at Mid Staffordshire and Morecambe Bay hospitals - is staggering.
“While sadly it is too late for the families involved it is now vital that decisive action is taken to ensure that lessons are finally learned. Hopefully others will then not have to suffer the heartbreak of losing a loved one through maternity failings.” Tim Annett - Partner
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An investigation was ordered into baby deaths at the Trust – which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford – in 2017 by then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Initially the investigation was to look into 23 cases but was expanded to more than 270 last year.
Cases include stillbirths, deaths during pregnancy, deaths of babies shortly after delivery, deaths of mums, cases of substandard care as well as birth injury cases such as cerebral palsy and other brain injuries.
An interim report leaked to the Independent was published today.
It said that there was a “long-term failure” to involve families in investigations into maternity deaths. Other issues included families being treated with “a distinct lack of kindness and respect”.
There was a "long-term failure" to involve loved ones in serious incident investigations and families struggled to obtain answers.
Staff referred to deceased babies as “it” while others got their names wrong.
The report said the volume of cases that investigators are looking into "seems to represent a longstanding culture at this trust that is toxic to improvement effort".
Paula Clark, interim chief executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, apologised to families and added “a lot has already been done to address the issues raised by previous cases."
Find out more about Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust Claims