What happened in the Shropshire infant death scandal?

A MATERNITY unit in Shropshire was found to be so severely defective that up to 40 infants died from preventable causes.

As revealed in a new episode of BBC’s Panorama, the NHS Trust of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals is lauded for having the lowest C birth rate in the country – but it is coming at a heavy cost.

Colin and Kayleigh Griffiths talk about their experience in Panorama


Colin and Kayleigh Griffiths talk about their experience in PanoramaCredit: BBC

What happened in the Shropshire infant death scandal?

In 2016, two grieving mothers contacted each other to build a case after they believed their infant died needlessly as a result of incorrect advice from a midwife.

Over the next four years, the obstetric unit failures came to light in a lengthy clinical investigation, published as the Ockenden report.

They found that, as with chronic staffing, which is no different from other NHS funds, the hospital was indeed commended for encouraging natural births.

In an effort to “stop over-care,” the trust received recognition for having the lowest C-section rate in the country.

But the investigation found that to some extent this came at the expense of the lives of many babies, who were in dire need of medical intervention at the time of their birth.

Parents found that they received incorrect medical advice at a critical time, resulting in the infant’s death.

Kayleigh Griffiths lost her daughter to an infection. After the home birth, during a frantic call to the midwives, Kayleigh explained that her daughter Pippa was coughing up brown liquid.

She was repeatedly told not to worry but Pippa passed away the next morning.

Rhiannon Davies was assessed as a low-risk pregnancy and delivered her baby at a Shropshire-trusted midwife-run center in Ludlow.

She said her baby’s movements slowed down when it was time to give birth and after that, her baby showed obvious signs of respiratory failure but was not picked up by the midwives.

But the nearest doctor arrived 45 minutes and was unable to save the newborn.

How many babies die?

It is suspected that as many as 40 babies and dozens of mothers could have been saved from their complications thanks to the Shropshire foundation over a twenty-year period.

An investigation also found that 50 children suffered brain damage at the hands of the trust, but since then the number of families complaining about poor care has more than doubled.

Area C rates are consistently 8-12 per cent below the UK average.

In some cases, women are forced to undergo birth control due to trauma, resulting in skull fractures and broken bones in babies.

What did the report find?

The Ockenden report shows that the trust has a culture of denying women choices regarding their employment, which is largely due to error as well as serious staffing issues.

It said: “A typical statement in interviews is ‘they don’t like caesarean sections,” adding: ‘Women who access the trust’s maternity services appear to have little or no the freedom to express one’s preference for caesarean section or exercise. any choice of their delivery method.

“There is a culture within the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Association to keep the cesarean rate low, because [that] evaluated as the essence of good maternity care in the unit.

“Overall, there seems to be no consideration for whether this culture is causing undue harm.”

The trust’s chief executive, Louise Barnett, told the BBC that the trust was committed to always acting transparently, reporting issues, including maternity, where they could be properly investigated. corpse.

“However, as the report makes clear, we are constantly reviewing the measures and actions we have taken to ensure that we make further improvements in these areas,” she said.

She added: “Badgernet paperless maternity profiling was introduced in our hospitals in August and we have successfully enrolled 500 women into the system.”

She explained that measures to address issues around fetal development were put in place.

The trust has been working with Badgernet developers to allow data to be entered electronically, she added. What happened in the Shropshire infant death scandal?

Bobby Allyn

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