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The largest-ever review of maternity care services in the NHS has revealed it is now investigating nearly 1,900 cases.

The independent investigation into maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust is looking at hundreds of reports of avoidable baby deaths, stillbirths and incidents involving babies sustaining brain injuries. There were also known to be at least 10 maternal deaths over a short period.

Former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, ordered the independent review into maternity care at the trust in 2017. At that time, 23 cases were being investigated.

However, since then, hundreds of families have come forward with serious concerns about the maternity care they received from the trust.

According to the BBC, most of the new cases emerged after the review team asked the trust to examine its paper records. The initial review in 2018 only focused on electronic data, but a new study was ordered when some families got in touch to say they had been excluded.

A report from NHS England revealed how the initial investigation presented the trust in a more positive light and while a new improvement director will be drafted into the trust alongside a string of other measures to help improve care at the hospital, there remain concerns about ongoing harm to patients.

Understandably there has been a call to action and the Ockenden independent maternity review is underway into cases of serious and potentially serious concern at the trust, with the findings hopefully due to be published later this year.

Hannah Carr, specialist medical negligence solicitor at Novum Law’s Salisbury office, said:

“Fortunately, most maternity units across the country provide excellent service and deliver babies safely. However, the investigation raises questions about wider systemic issues in the NHS, including the culture embedded within the health service. There needs to be an open and honest culture in the NHS, with everyone from senior managers to frontline staff learning from mistakes, so that other families do not have to suffer the same devastating experiences.

“What is coming out loud and clear from the investigation into Shrewsbury and Telford’s maternity services is that when unsafe practices take root and no positive remedial action is taken, it can be very difficult to shift the culture and turn things around. This is must not be allowed to continue.”

If you have concerns about the treatment you and your baby have received at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust or any other healthcare setting, Novum Law’s team of specialist medical negligence solicitors can help on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.

To find out more information, contact us on Freephone: 0800 884 0777 or email: info@novumlaw.com.