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Insight

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust - the Ockenden Inquiry

The ongoing Ockenden Inquiry was established in 2017 by then health secretary Jeremy Hunt and is led by midwife Donna Ockenden to investigate avoidable baby deaths at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust since 1998.

A public appeal initially identified 900 families with concerns about their maternity care. This number had sharply risen to 1,862 by July 2020. The review is looking into cases involving neonatal death, stillbirths, brain damage and maternal death. It comes after years of sustained campaigning by bereaved parents.

On 29 June 2020, West Mercia Police stated they will commence an investigation into possible criminal charges either against the Trust or individuals in connection with baby and maternal deaths and injury at the Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal hospitals from 2003.

The first report was published in December 2000, which looked at the first 250 cases. It set out Immediate and Essential Actions to improve maternity services across England. It was a call to action designed to result in "lasting meaningful change". The final report is expected by the end of 2021.

The report identified poor leadership as a critical feature and the Government has since announced a £500,000 leadership programme for senior neonatal and neonatal leaders. The report also identified urgent actions were required around informed consent, monitoring fetal wellbeing, managing complex pregnancies and listening to women and their families.

Partner Samantha Critchley, an expert in maternity negligence claims, has been instructed to investigate a claim by the parents of a baby who died at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital. The couple were among those contacted by the police regarding the criminal investigation.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital trust has also been criticised for covering up and manipulating results of an initial report and for perpetuating a culture of defensiveness, denial and lack of openness in maternity services, which allowed substandard maternity care to continue unchallenged for so many years.

Your maternity negligence claim

If you or your family have been affected by sub-standard medical care causing injury during birth, our team of expert medical negligence solicitors can help you pursue a claim for compensation.

To speak with one of our maternity negligence experts call 0800 358 3848 or complete our online enquiry form.

We are a leading medical negligence team, with more than 30 years' experience in settling high-value maternity claims and getting clients the answers they need. We are also expert in managing cerebral palsy and other brain injury claims following negligent maternity care.

We run our cases on a no win, no fee basis.

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