What is being called the “largest maternity scandal in NHS history” involving the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SATH) has hit the headlines this week.
We’re shocked and appalled by what we have seen, which appears to be a period of 40 years of negligent care and treatment that may involve as many as 600 cases of medical negligence. Leaked reports appear to have singled out at least 42 infant deaths and the deaths of three mothers, as well as outlining more than 50 cases of children being left with brain damage.
It appears that there has been substandard care across the board which may have resulted in dozens of deaths and cases of children being left with permanent and catastrophic injuries.
Devastating Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust issues revealed
The Independent has revealed the tragic cases involving the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust linked to infant deaths and catastrophic injuries.
According to information gleaned from a leaked internal report, the Trust has seen 40 years of potentially negligent care that has affected the lives of hundreds of people. The report is understood to have linked the responsibility of inadequate care and support for patients and families with doctors, midwives, nurses and bosses alike.
Some of the cases outlined in the report involve deaths as well as permanent, life-changing injuries.
Cases of medical negligence
There is understood to be some 600 cases of potential medical negligence being examined as a result of care and advice from the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
These include cases of brain damage to infants deprived of oxygen, with staff failing act on problems and / or failing to even understand the signs of problems. There are also said to be cases of brain damage caused to infants not being treated properly for serious infections that include Group B Strep (Streptococcus agalactiae) and meningitis
Inadequate monitoring of heartbeats during labour has also been reported, and cases of Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE) that can be caused by a lack of oxygen and/or blood flow to the baby from the placenta during labour are said to have been missed. Even where such problems are identified, the treatment that an infant may need comes with risks that can lead to further complications and problems.
There have also reportedly been consent issues involving those choosing to deliver their babies at midwifery-led units where risks can be greater if problems do occur. Further, existing health considerations for mothers may not have been properly considered, and those with high-risk pregnancies who should receive more specialist care may not have been looked after properly.
Causes of problems at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust
It’s understood that the report into the care and treatment received from the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust involved failures of “knowledge, team-working and approach to risk”.
Further, bosses at the Trust are said to have failed to investigate errors, with staff on the ground failing to identify risks that could be the difference between life and death. Communication with families has been questioned, with there reportedly being “a distinct lack of kindness and respect”.
Some staff apparently couldn’t even get deceased infants’ names correct and may have even referred to infants as “it”.
Medical negligence compensation
Victims and their families may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim for any poor treatment, inadequate advice and substandard received care from the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust .
Clinical errors are understood to have been repetitive with lessons not being learned over the decades the scandal covers from 1979.
It’s also understood that some problems and complaints raised by families have been dismissed, and it may be the case that some dismissed cases now need to be reopened.
If you or someone you know has received maternity care from the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, and you believe something has gone wrong, we are here to help. You can contact the team for free, no-obligation advice today on 0800 634 75 75. We may be able to offer No Win, No Fee legal representation.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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