Inquiry into Britain’s worst maternity scandal examining more than 1,800 cases

A report found her death was avoidable and criticised two midwives for failing to realise the birth was high risk and for ignoring family concerns. 

Many more parents came forward raising fears that their own children had died or been left brain-damaged, because of failings by two hospitals run by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS trust.

While some cases date back four decades, other alleged failings are as recent as last year.

Today Donna Ockenden, the head of the review, said a search of paper records and a call for families to come forward had identified another 496 families.

This takes the total number of cases of death or harm being examined to 1,862.

Letters will be sent to the recently identified families asking if they want their case to be reviewed.

Ms Ockenden said: “The Trust have worked closely with the review team throughout this process and have provided us with all requested information. I would like to thank them for all the work undertaken to reach this point. By working together we have sadly identified a further 496 families as part of the review, who I am writing to this week.” 

The review chief said the inquiry intends to publish its initial recommendations by the end of the year.

And she said that in order to achieve this, any further cases which emerge will not be taken on by the review, with families asked to raise their concerns directly to the NHS trust. 

Ms Ockenden said: “It’s now really important that we focus our efforts on getting all clinical reviews completed so that we can make meaningful recommendations to improve services and give families the answers they have asked for.

“We intend to have initial, emerging recommendations for maternity services published at the end of the year.

“In order to give ourselves the time to write the final report, any new cases that come to light from now on will need to go directly to the trust for them to consider, rather than them coming to the maternity review team.

“I have made a commitment to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care that we will undertake our work with the care and the independence it deserves and we will publish the final report as quickly as we can.

“I want to assure families that their experiences are important to us and that our independent team of midwives and doctors continue to ensure that family voices remain central to everything we do.”

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