A much-publicised review into maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust has found that more than 200 babies may have died due to repeated failures. The report was led by senior midwife, Dionna Ockenden, and followed a five-year investigation.
The report concluded that serious mistakes were made and repeated over many years. There was also a failure to investigate and learn from infant deaths. Consequently, between 2000 and 2019 some mothers and babies died or suffered major injuries.
It was found that staff were reluctant to perform Caesarean sections, leading to some babies losing their lives during birth or soon after. There was also ineffective monitoring of foetal growth. In many cases, mothers and babies were left with lifelong conditions as a result of their care.
The health trust has apologised to affected families and described the report as deeply distressing.
We must pay tribute to the bravery, patience and persistence of all of the families who were affected. Despite being silenced and in the face of their own personal grief and suffering, they came together determined to seek out answers in the hope that such failings are never repeated.
This is failure on a devastating scale, but one we hope will never be repeated. There is an urgent need for change not only within maternity services, but the NHS as a whole and we can only hope that lessons will be learned and acted upon to enable us to create a legacy of transparency and safety within the NHS going forward.
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