The avoidable deaths of at least seven babies at one NHS trust has triggered an investigation.
According to mothers, their babies died because midwives “couldn’t be bothered” to do basic follow-ups, or to act when warned that babies were in danger.
The investigation into a series of deaths at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS trust has been ordered by the Health Secretary.
Coroners have found that failing to properly monitor the baby was a factor in five of the deaths.
According to a BBC report, between September 2014 and May 2016 a total of nine babies died.
Seven of the death were ruled avoidable, while the remaining two were not investigated correctly, as per the families.
Failing to monitor heart rates properly was involved in many of the avoidable deaths.
Safety campaigner James Titcombe, said last night that the findings show history was being repeated, and the NHS is failing to learn important lessons.
Titcombe’s child died in the Morecambe Bay maternity scandal back in 2008.
Two further deaths have had questions raised by the families who claim that there was no investigation into their deaths.
NHS England and NHS Improvement has been asked by Jeremy Hunt to review a number of deaths and other incidents at the trust, to certify they were properly investigated.
About 4,700 babies are delivered at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust each year. Last year, an official report severely criticized its maternity services after the death of baby Kate Stanton-Davies in 2009.
A damning report:
The report states that a safety culture was lacking at the trust in 2009, adding that it had neither held any staff accountable for the failures, nor learned lessons.
Last year, all NHS trusts in England were rated by a separate analysis. It found that Shrewsbury and Telford was one of the worst in the country when it came to learning from mistakes and incidents.
After the death of his baby son Joshuan in 2008, James Titcombe, uncovered a series of deaths and an attempted cover-up at Morecambe Bay. He said last night that the situation at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital trust seemed to contain parallels with the first scandal.
He blamed the trust of forcing women to undergo natural birth when it was not safe, as well as not learning from repeated mistakes.
The trust responded saying that its mortality rates have improved and that they are in line with the national average.
Medical director Dr. Edwin Borman said:”When I look at the perinatal mortality rate at our trust compared to the rest of the NHS, we are at an equivalent level to the rest of the country.”
He continued: “In the case of fetal heart rate monitoring, we have identified a number of cases where learning has not been fully implemented. We’ve put systems in place to make improvements.