Maternity deaths scandal: Now 200 MORE families come forward over babies and mothers dying one week after 600 allegations of shocking care at the NHS trust are identified
- Investigators initially found evidence of 90 babies dying over four decades
- One firm alone has had 80 new inquiries since the damning report was leaked
- Lawyer Kay Kelly said: ‘Many of them are people who lost babies at the hospital’
More than 200 new families have contacted an inquiry into mother and baby deaths at a scandal-hit hospital trust – just a week after it emerged that more than 600 allegations of shocking care had already been identified.
Investigators had found evidence that more than 90 babies died or suffered serious harm over four decades of failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
But after the horrifying figures emerged only last week in a leaked report into the maternity scandal, a fresh surge of potential victims has come forward.
Kay Kelly, head of clinical negligence at the law firm Lanyon Bowdler, is acting for some of the families involved. She told the BBC that since the report by midwife Donna Ockenden on behalf of NHS Improvement was leaked, her firm alone has had more than 80 new inquiries.
Investigators had found evidence that more than 90 babies died or suffered serious harm over four decades of failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. Pictured is Rhiannon Davies, who lost her daughter Kate due to catastrophic medical mistakes
Other law firms are also thought to have received calls from many more potential victims. She said: ‘Many of them are people who lost babies at the hospital and that worries me because I understood that the hospital had passed on the information to the Donna Ockenden inquiry.’
One of those being represented by Kay Kelly is ‘Chrissie’, whose son, a twin, was left with cerebral palsy after birth.
She told the BBC: ‘To know now that there’ve been hundreds of cases, I’m angry. Somebody needs to find out exactly what has gone on, and stop it.’
Rhiannon Davies was instrumental in securing a proper probe into failings on Shropshire maternity wards after the death of her baby, Kate Stanton-Davies, due to catastrophic medical mistakes at Ludlow Community Hospital in 2009.
She said she had also been contacted by 25 families within 24 hours of the interim report being leaked to The Independent last week.
It found evidence that at least 42 babies and three mothers had died under the care of the Shropshire trust (SaTH) between 1979 and 2017. Another 51 infants were left with brain damage or disability after being deprived of oxygen at birth.
But after the horrifying figures emerged only last week in a leaked report into the maternity scandal, a fresh surge of potential victims has come forward
Ms Davies (pictured) said she had also been contacted by 25 families within 24 hours of the interim report being leaked to The Independent last week
It revealed that some children were left disabled, staff got the names of some dead babies wrong and, in one case, referred to a child as ‘it’.
The investigation was due to run until late next year, but that could now be put back due to the new cases.
The scandal echoes failings at a maternity trust run by Morecambe Bay hospital trust, where 11 babies and one mother died between 2004 and 2013.
Dr Bill Kirkup, a maternity expert who led the probe into that scandal which centred on Furness General Hospital, said: ‘These are not two separate one-offs, these point to underlying systemic failure that might be widespread.’
SaTH was approached for comment but did not reply.