Medical law expert welcomes action to protect patients at scandal-hit maternity unit
A medical law expert who represented the devastated parents of a baby who died whilst in the care of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) Trust in 2009 has welcomed news that the Care Quality Commission has taken urgent action against the scandal-hit maternity unit.
The news follows reports last month that an investigation — triggered by the death of Kate Stanton-Davies who died six hours after her birth — was underway, with 23 suspicious incidents between 1998 and 2017 at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) under review.
That figure has since risen to more than 100, with the deaths of babies and mothers during childbirth, as well as reports of newborns suffering lifelong harm, believed to be amongst those cases being investigated.
Ian Cohen, a medical law expert and Partner at Simpson Millar Solicitors, who represented baby Kate’s parents in their battle for answers, said he welcomed the action that was now being taken to ‘protect and reassure’ those who rely on the Trust for their care, and the care of their loved ones.
The findings of an independent review into the circumstances surrounding the devastating death of Kate which was released in 2016, found that the hospital trust had ‘abdicated its responsibility’ in finding out what happened, and that SaTH had ‘failed to establish facts and accountability”.
The case against the Trust — which admitted liability for failings in the care received by Kate — has now concluded.
Cohen said: “This maternity ward was put under the spotlight following Kate’s death, and was then subjected to a full investigation for failing 23 families; and yet here we are reading reports of as many as 100 potentially avoidable deaths and injuries. How many more will come to light”?
“This is clearly a systemic issue, and so we welcome the fact that an investigation is now underway and that urgent action has been taken to put measures in place to protect patients from harm”.
“Ongoing categorical and clear communication on the issue is now essential to reassure those who are reliant on this maternity ward for their care, and the care of their loved ones, that their safety is a priority and that failings are proactively being addressed”.
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