Police have launched an investigation into the deaths of up to 1,000 babies at an NHS hospital in England, some of which date back to the 1980s.
More than a thousand families have contacted Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) since an independent review was launched into deaths at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
The devastating news that a investigation , into Shrewsbury maternity hospital going back 40 years, and could involve criminal negligence in baby deaths. Is absolutely devastating for the parents involved. It seems that at least 7 internal investigations have been aware of this.— neil flek waugh .#Palestine is a state.BDS Israel (@sammythedog1989) June 30, 2020
Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Wessell from West Mercia Police said on Tuesday, 30 June: "Today we have met with NHS Improvement, The Department of Health and the independent reviewer to discuss complaints made against Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust in relation to maternity services and provision."
"We can confirm that a police investigation will be conducted to explore whether there is evidence to support a criminal case either against the Trust or any individuals involved. The investigation is now live so we are unable to comment any further at this time," he added.
The trust’s chief executive Louise Barnett said they would "fully cooperate with the investigation."
The independent review, which is being led by maternity expert Donna Ockenden, is looking into hundreds of incident involving babies and mothers since 1979.
Oh my God Royal Shrewsbury Hospital - those babies, parents - maternity deaths. Alleged Neglect resulting in death and brain damage of many babies. Life seems not to be precious any more.— Maureen Johnson (@Maureen6Johnson) June 30, 2020
Rhiannon Davies, whose baby died at the hospital in 2009, told the BBC: “We welcome their approach to look at what has happened over two or three decades at SaTH from a criminal viewpoint."
The investigation has echoes of the so-called Mid-Staffordshire scandal.
Between 2005 and 2009 between 400 and 1,200 patients died as a result of poor care at Stafford Hospital, just north of Birmingham.
A public inquiry published a report in 2013 which made 290 recommendations but no nurses or doctors faced criminal charges over events at Stafford Hospital.
The SaTH maternity deaths scandal has been labelled the worst in the history of the NHS — an imbalance of power meant that many women in #Telford felt forced to accept the excuses made by ‘reputable’ consultants that masked serious medical malpractice.https://t.co/HfXAAERWo3— Samantha Smith (@SamanthaSmiMYP) June 30, 2020