Families criticise maternity scandal trust

The families met on Thursday, unhappy at a lack of contact from the trust [BBC]

Families at the heart of an inquiry into maternity failings in Shropshire have said there has been a lack of engagement from Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH).

Senior midwife Donna Ockenden led the inquiry two years ago and found that catastrophic failures at the trust may have led to the deaths of more than 200 babies.

She said was disturbed by the lack of contact since the inquiry, after meeting about 20 families on Wednesday.

The trust is meeting her on Thursday and said it would listen and respond.

Rev Charlotte Cheshire
Rev Charlotte Cheshire said it was important the hospital remained in contact with families [BBC]

Rev Charlotte Cheshire, whose son suffered brain damage due to the poor care given by the trust, said she had received compensation but not an apology or any contact with officials.

"It could be argued that there's nothing they can now do to undo the harm that was done because those memories last a lifetime, the damage lasts a lifetime.

"But if they want to restore our trust going forward in the healthcare they provide and their commitments to improve their care, the very least they could do is talk to us and they're not."

Two other affected families said they were "disappointed and angry" and wanted feedback.

"I don't think anyone in the room [on Wednesday] has had any contact at all from the trust," Roger Evlyn-Bufton said.

Donna Ockenden
Donna Ockenden said she would meet the trust on Thursday [BBC]

"They need to be telling us that things have improved and this is what we're doing to improve but we're not getting any feedback at all," Sonia Leigh, whose daughter Kathryn died in 2000, just 21 minutes old, told BBC News.

Mrs Ockenden examined maternity practices at the trust over 20 years and found that babies' deaths were often not investigated and grieving parents were not listened to.

But she said families were disappointed at the lack of contact since her findings.

"They feel let down and who better to learn from and help you focus on maternity improvement that those people who have been harmed by your maternity service?", she said.

"My understanding from families is that that simply hasn't been done."

Last month, maternity services at the trust were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission, although several areas still require action.

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