Maternity care probe trust ‘in contact with more than 200 families’

A trust at the centre of a review into alleged cases of poor maternity care has said it is in contact with more than 200 families.

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust said it had been in touch with 215 families.

It is understood that not all of the contacts concern allegations of poor care, and some cases go back 20 to 30 years.

In some instances, families have wanted questions to be answered and cases have been investigated and closed, it is understood.

Senior midwife Donna Ockenden was appointed last year to review alleged poor maternity care at the trust.

Many of the “contacts” will not form part of the review, it is believed.

Shrewsbury and Telford was put into special measures by health chiefs last week.

NHS Improvement confirmed that the trust had been placed into the improvement regime following a recommendation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This means that the organisation will receive additional support from central NHS bodies to turn around its performance.

In October, the CQC said that it as taking action at the trust following inspections of its maternity and emergency departments.

The CQC previously said unannounced inspections of some services at the Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital had led to concerns about its reduced foetal movements guidelines at its maternity services.

Such guidelines direct clinicians on how to care for pregnant women whose babies have reduced movement, which is sometimes a sign that a baby is unwell.

Inspectors also raised concerns about the trust’s urgent and emergency care, particularly with regard to the treatment and recognition of sepsis – a potentially life-threatening complication of infection.

Conditions placed on the trust include weekly reporting on the action it is taking “to ensure the system in place for clinical management of patients using midwifery services at The Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals is effective”, the CQC previously said in a statement.

A similar requirement has also been placed upon its urgent and emergency care services.

Dr Kathy McLean, executive medical director and chief operating officer at NHS Improvement, said: “We are grateful for the families who have come forward so far to share or query whether their experience should form part of our independent investigation.

“We want to assure people that every possible case has and will be taken into account as part of the investigation, to help ensure that lessons are learnt.”