Miscarriages resulted in mother and baby deaths and brain damage in some newborns, while the Hospital Trust was held up as an example of good practice for its low rate of caesareans
A campaign father whose daughter died in the Maternity Scandal in Shrewsbury calls for police prosecution after 300 babies died or were brain damaged due to poor care.
Richard Stanton says a number of health facilities are caught up in the obsession with natural births that have claimed so many lives in Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals Trust (SaTH).
Tomorrow top midwife Donna Ockenden will deliver her final report on what is seen by many as the worst scandal NHS Story.
Miscarriages resulted in the deaths of mothers and babies, and some newborns with brain damage—all while SaTH was touted as an example of best practice for its low caesarean section rates.
Mothers were denied cesareans and endured traumatic deliveries, leaving many babies with cracked skulls and fractured bones, while others suffered from oxygen starvation and life-changing brain injuries.
The Mirror assumes that between 250 and 400 test cases have now been passed on West Mercia Police conducting a parallel investigation that could lead to a corporate indictment against the Trust or an individual indictment against senior medical officers.
Richard, whose daughter Kate Stanton-Davies died in childbirth in 2009, said: “This is a game changer for maternity care across the NHS.
“SaTH was a terrible case, but they weren’t an isolated trust. You only have to look to East Kent and Nottingham, where hundreds more families are coming forward to express their concerns about the care they have received.
“I hope the police now have enough evidence to submit to the CPS for a prosecution.
“SaTH should suspend senior managers who have been promoted or sidelined. They have policed the culture of normal births at all costs.”
Richard’s wife Rhiannon Davies gave birth in March 2009 in a midwife-led unit at Shrewsbury Trust where there were no doctors. She recalls, “The midwives encouraged us to go there to ‘keep their numbers up'”.
Rhiannon’s pregnancy was wrongly classified as low risk and she should have given birth in a hospital where doctors were on site.
Her baby, Kate Stanton-Davies, was “pale and limp” when she was born.
She was flown to Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham but died before her mother could get there.
Rhiannon and Richard were initially told there had been no problem with the care and their first two complaints were dismissed by the Trust.
The couple then embarked on a mission to find out how their daughter had died and found that many others had had a similar experience.
A dossier put together by Rhiannon and another grieving mother, Kayleigh Griffiths, led to the government commissioning the Ockenden review.
A five-year investigation by a team of 90 experienced midwives and doctors examined the experiences of 1,500 families after a total of 1,800 complaints about childbirth to the Foundation between 2000 and 2019.
At least 12 mothers died in childbirth, and some families lost more than one child, the report is expected to show.
The report will have repercussions for NHS England, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) – all of which have pushed forward natural childbirth goals which are now were scrapped.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are also under scrutiny for giving the Trust a clean bill of health while a toxic culture among midwives claimed lives.
Richard said: “They all knew of the tragedy that was unfolding. They knew mortality rates were high and that there was a culture of denial.
“They were signaled that. That was allowed to happen.
“The NMC was invested in the culture of ‘natural births’ and the others dismissed the responsibility and passed it on to the next agency.
“I also think the NHS in general didn’t want another scandal after Mid-Staffs and Morcambe Bay.
“As this started to grow and all the families came forward, I think it became insurmountable for people in senior positions at NHS England to actually understand what was happening.
“I would like NHS England to have an independent person to review the Ockenden recommendations and make sure they are embedded. Other than that, I don’t fully trust them to go through.”
The report will be presented at a briefing near Shrewsbury on Wednesday morning.
Rather than learning from the deaths of babies, SaTH is expected to have minimized or covered up his guilt.
Bereaved mothers have told investigators that midwives did not listen when they asked for a cesarean and later felt the foundation blamed them for their baby’s death.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/horror-worst-scandal-nhs-history-26584841 Scare the worst scandal in NHS history as 300 babies die or have their brains damaged