News

Shrewsbury maternity scandal exposed deadly failings



One grieving mother’s search for answers has uncovered the biggest maternity scandal in the history of the NHS.

Thirteen years ago, baby Kate Stanton-Davies died while in the care of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. Ever since, her parents, Rhiannon Davies and Richard Stanton, have tried to establish the truth about the death of their daughter. The findings of the subsequent inquiry has been far worse than anyone anticipated.

A total of 201 babies and nine mothers could or would have survived if they had received better care, the investigation found. Other mothers and children have suffered life-changing injuries. Police are examining 600 cases linked to the scandal, the Health Secretary says.

One of the most horrifying statistics is that more than 100 clinical incidents involved the same families, because some parents suffered the loss of more than one child at the hands of the trust.

Shrewsbury’s toxic culture led to fatal mistakes and a failure to learn from them. While the pattern is familiar from previous healthcare scandals, the specific details are appalling.

Mothers were blamed for problems that led to their babies’ deaths. Women were delayed from being admitted to labour wards or receiving emergency intervention. Midwives and consultants permitted a “them and us” culture, with repeated failures to escalate concerns.

Basics such as monitoring babies’ heart rates or administering drugs correctly were botched. There were too few staff with too little training and incompetent management.

These horrors have been compounded by Shrewsbury’s dogged refusal to acknowledge the extent of its failings, leading to so many preventable deaths. Some families have had to fight for 20 years. Several said they initially felt guilty about involving lawyers to uncover the truth – until they realised the shocking scale of the problem.

Yet many of the problems Shrewsbury faces are not unique to this trust. Catastrophic failings in care have been exposed recently at Morecambe Bay, Nottingham and East Kent hospitals.

Safe staffing is key. NHS England has a shortage of 2,000 midwives, meaning that right now women and babies are at risk of unsafe care.

In the NHS the answer is not always to throw more money at the problem. But until NHS England takes safe staffing in maternity seriously, more people will experience needless tragedy on what should be the happiest day of their life.

@olyduff



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.