SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND – Hundreds more cases of potentially avoidable baby deaths, stillbirths and brain damage have emerged at an NHS trust, raising concerns about a possible cover-up of the true extent of one the biggest scandals in the health service’s history.
The additional 496 cases raise further serious concerns about maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford hospital NHS trust since 2000.
The cases involving stillbirths, neonatal deaths or baby brain damage, as well as a small number of maternal deaths, have been passed to an independent maternity review, led by the midwifery expert Donna Ockenden. They bring the total number of cases being examined to 1,862.
They will also be passed to West Mercia police, which last month launched a criminal investigation into the trust’s maternity services. Detectives are trying to establish whether there is enough evidence to bring charges of corporate manslaughter against the trust or individual manslaughter charges against staff involved.
The extra 496 cases had not emerged until now because an “open book” initiative led by the NHS in 2018 asked only for digital records of cases identified as a cause for serious concerns. The vast majority of the 496 further cases were recorded only in paper documents.
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