Shropshire baby deaths: Panel pulled over family concerns

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Richard Stanton

Image caption

Rhiannon Davies pictured with her daughter Kate, who was born at Ludlow Community Hospital

A scrutiny panel has been pulled from an inquiry into baby deaths after families raised concerns.

Parents objected to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) being part of the panel for the inquiry into maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

NHS Improvement said the decision to abandon it was made after “feedback from the families”.

Mother Rhiannon Davies said she was glad parents’ voices had been heard.

More than 200 families have raised concerns about maternity care at the trust as part of the review, conducted by senior midwife Donna Ockenden.

NHS Improvement invited the RCOG to participate in the scrutiny panel despite questions about its recent history at the health trust.

‘Offensive’

Mrs Davies, whose baby Kate died in 2009, said: “The decision to impose scrutiny on the Ockenden review team’s work was an idiotic one.

“The decision to select compromised, self-interested individuals to people the scrutiny panel was offensive and legally questionable.

“Each had a vested interested in covering up personal failings and closing down the review.

“The impact over the last few days on me and my family has been additional pain and stress.”

Dr Kathy McLean, from NHS improvement, said: “Although the intention had always been for the panel to provide additional scrutiny and support to the wide-ranging review being undertaken by Donna Ockenden, it is clear that its role has prompted concerns, which we hope are now resolved.

“The review remains completely independent and NHS Improvement will ensure that families are given the answers they need and that lessons are learnt.”

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