Shropshire health bosses give assurances over baby deaths

Health chiefs say they recognise there will be alarm over the growing number of cases being considered in a review into mother and baby deaths at Shropshire's hospitals.

However, bosses at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust (SaTH) say no conclusions have been reached about the care provided in any of the cases.

It is understood that the review into mother and baby deaths and injuries at hospitals in the county is now examining more than 100 cases.

Meanwhile, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken urgent action against the maternity department.

Professor Ted Baker, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: "CQC has taken further enforcement action against the trust to ensure the safety of patients.

"This action follows concerns identified within the trusts maternity services during our recent inspection.

"This action is subject to a period of appeal and we will provide further information when the legal process allows.”

Deirdre Fowler, director of nursing, midwifery and quality at SaTH, says the trust remains committed to providing the best care for all women and families who use its maternity services.

She said the trust was working closely with NHS Improvement and is fully engaging and co-operating with its independent review.


An independent review into baby deaths at SaTH was launched last year at the request of then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mrs Fowler said it is important that any families who have any questions or concerns over their care are given the chance to have them explored.

She added: "We recognise that, taken in isolation, the number of cases which are being considered may cause concern or anxiety for families currently using our services.

"It is important to remember that this review covers a period dating back some 20 years and that, at this stage, no conclusions have been reached about the care provided in any of these cases.


"SaTH provides a safe service for women giving birth.

"We would encourage any mums-to-be or families with any questions about their care to speak to their midwife." NHS Improvement said it is committed to ensuring the trust can learn from "the historical cases of concern", but could not confirm the number of cases due to be considered.

Dr Kathy McLean, executive medical director and chief operating officer of NHS Improvement, added: "We are examining in detail anything that may be relevant, ensuring that possible duplication is taken into account.

"Also, it is important that in any historical investigations that we consider, appropriate consent from the family members is obtained in advance."

Families who would like to contact SaTH can email

Mother still suffers flashbacks

Steph and Rob Hotchkiss with a picture paying tribute to their baby daughter Sophiya, who died shortly after she was born

Steph Hotchkiss says she still suffers flashbacks to the day she and her husband Rob left hospital without their new baby daughter in their arms, writes Deborah Hardiman.

Sophiya died shortly after she was born in September 2014 after her mother suffered a ruptured placenta. Mrs Hotchkiss, 28, of The Rock, Telford, had experienced placenta issues when her son Kyan was born in 2013 and then was given an emergency caesarian as a result.

But she claims that ahead of Sophiya’s birth the following year, she was not listened to when she tried to tell the labour ward staff at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital what she felt was happening to her. She said: "I can’t put into words how painful this is for us. It was just so frustrating not to be listened to when I had previously had a difficult pregnancy involving a similar thing.”

In contrast, she said the family was happy with the excellent standard of care given to her in March 2016 when she subsequently gave birth to son Bentley, now two. The couple also have an older daughter, Alyssa, nine.

They are due to meet top midwifery adviser Donna Ockenden, of the NHS Improvement Unit, which is carrying out an independent review of 12 baby deaths at the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital Trust.

NHS Improvement spokeswoman Michelle Smith said: "We have agreed to consider additional historical investigations that have been highlighted since our independent review, led by Donna Ockenden, was announced in April 2017, where women, infants and newborn babies had died or suffered harm in the maternity services provided by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.”

Date: 21 September 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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