05:47 GMT04 July 2020
Listen Live
    UK
    Get short URL
    210
    Subscribe

    In 2009 a damning report highlighted "appalling" standards of care which contributed to 400 deaths at Stafford Hospital in England. Now a police investigation has started into baby deaths at another hospital only 50 miles away.

    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.

    ​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.

    ​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.

    Tags:
    deaths, babies, hospital, National Health Service (NHS)
    Community standardsDiscussion