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Further to our December blog on ‘the largest maternity scandal in the NHS’ in relation to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, it is reported that the NHS are still continually failing patients through their maternity service. Not only this, but they are colluding in the prevention of justice for those families at the hands of the negligent treatment.
The latest update sees East Kent University Hospitals Trust found to be negligent in the inquest into the death of Harry Richford, who died seven days after his birth, in what the coroner has ruled the ‘wholly avoidable’. The BBC reports that 7 preventable infant deaths also occurred at the same trust, and it is suggested that there may be even more.
The Independent and charity Baby Lifeline have joined together in a hope to convince the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to reinstate a previously axed maternity safety training fund. Further to Harry’s death a DHSC spokesman has said ‘The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch is examining 26 individual maternity cases at the trust and the Care Quality Commission carried out an unplanned inspection last week’. Both reports should be received in the next 2 weeks.
The NHS have been reluctant to admit their problems and failed to learn from their mistakes, despite a report from the Royal Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warning them they needed to. When faced with such claims, they use tactics of ‘deny, delay and defend’ and therefore justice is only realised through persistent hard work of those families affected. By deploying an ‘army of lawyers’ the NHS is denying justice and refusing to accept blame.
The inequality in these legal battles stems from the fact that families are not presently automatically entitled to legal aid for inquests despite chief coroner, Mark Lucraft QC calling for ‘this inequality of legal backing to end’.
It is important that people continue to come forward and challenge the NHS trust in these cases to ensure action will be taken by both the NHS and the government.
At Ramsdens’ our specialist inquest solicitors can help you with any questions you need and want to ask if a family member or someone close to you dies suddenly.
If you have lost a loved one and have been told that an Inquest has been opened into their death, our team can help you by advising and guiding you through the inquest process.
Our team will advise you of funding options for the inquest hearing. This can include (but is not limited to) Legal Aid and Conditional Fee Agreement funding (No Win No Fee). We will always work with you to find the best option to suit your circumstances and will offer compassion and support during what can be a traumatic time.
If you require advice about an ongoing inquest, contact our inquest solicitors for support on 0113 887 1834. Alternatively, you can make an enquiry using our online enquiry form and we will be in touch when it is convenient for you.