Shropshire baby deaths: Review cases rise to 215

A newborn baby

A review into mother and baby deaths at two NHS hospitals has now identified more than 200 cases, after being widened for a third time.

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust said 215 families had come forward alleging maternity errors.

The independent review, commissioned by Jeremy Hunt in 2017, was initially focussed on 23 deaths.

The trust was placed in special measures last week amid concerns over patient safety.

It was already reporting to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) because of concerns about maternity and emergency services at its two sites – The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and The Princess Royal in Telford.

In August the scope of the review into alleged maternity failings between 1998 and 2017 was expanded to look at 40 cases.

Soon after it was further broadened to take in 100.

It is understood not all the new cases relate to death and serious harm and some fall outside the scope of the review.

Image caption

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust was placed in special measures last week

Michael Buchanan, BBC social affairs correspondent

This is shaping up to be one of the biggest crises in maternity care in the history of the NHS.

In a statement to BBC News, the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust said 215 families had now come forward alleging maternity errors.

Of the 91 who’ve submitted those directly to the trust, 36 said their babies had died and 22 alleged their children had suffered permanent harm as a result of the trust’s mistakes.

Dr Kathy McLean, from NHS Improvement which is overseeing the review, said: “Every possible case has and will be taken into account as part of the investigation, to help ensure that lessons are learnt”.

The trust said it was co-operating fully with the review, which is being led by midwife Donna Ockenden.

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