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In what has been coined the ‘largest maternity scandal in the NHS’, a leaked internal report in relation to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has highlighted continuous clinical malpractice between the years of 1979 and 2017.

The ‘toxic’ report, led by maternity expert Donna Ockenden, refers to 22 stillbirths, three deaths during pregnancy, 17 deaths of babies after birth, 47 cases of substandard care, 51 cases of cerebral palsy and brain damage, and the deaths of three mothers.

In addition to the substandard practice, the follow-up treatment of bereaved families was found to have “a distinct lack of kindness and respect”, including instances whereby staff referred to deceased babies as “it”. There was also an occasion where a baby’s body was allowed to decompose over a period of weeks following a post-mortem examination, resulting in the family being unable to see the body for one last time.

The report has identified repeated malpractice, including lack of informed consent regarding where mothers choose to deliver their babies, lack of transparency, failure to recognise serious incidents, failure to involve families in investigations and lack of kindness and support. The report also found that that regulators were aware of problems as far back as 2007, when the Health Commission initially expressed concerns about injuries being caused to babies at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital.

More specifically, issues included the failure of staff to recognise when labour was going wrong, as well as heartbeats being inadequately monitored.

The Independent has revealed that the trust may be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter, as West Mercia Police has revealed it is considering a “range of criminal cases” against it.

Our Clinical Negligence Team, headed by Natalie Marrison, act for many clients who have been sadly impacted by antenatal errors or errors during birth. We have helped many mothers and children who have been injured during childbirth. We understand that money cannot make up for the pain and suffering caused by birth injury or trauma, but it can help when unexpected expenses have arisen due to an incident.

To speak to one of our lawyers about a medical negligence claim, contact us today. You can either call us on 0800 804 7450 or fill in our claims form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.