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Delay in maternity scandal report leaves families frustrated

Posted on 10th March 2022 in Medical Negligence

Posted by

Simon Mansfield

Partner and Solicitor
Delay in maternity scandal report leaves families frustrated

A report into the biggest maternity scandal in NHS history is due to be published but families have voiced “huge frustration” as the publication of the final report has been delayed for a second time. The review investigated 1,862 maternity cases at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS trust where mothers and babies might have been harmed over a 20 year period.

Senior midwife Donna Ockenden who is leading the review has written to families to explain how the report delay is due to “parliamentary processes” and that a new publishing date is yet to be confirmed.

The NHS are thought to be in the process of securing indemnity cover for potential legal action following the publication of the report.

One mum who was directly affected by NHS failings says: “This delay leaves us angry, disappointed, upset and triggers the grief all over again.” Another comments: “You want justice for your own, but you also want change. I can’t bring my son back, but hopefully this review will help other families, stop it from happening again. But until we see this report, everyone is in the dark.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to getting the families the answers they deserve and our sympathies remain with all those affected.

Simon Mansfield of Tozers’ medical negligence team comments:

"This review was first commissioned by then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2017 with Ockenden’s interim report, published in December 2020, uncovering a pattern of failures, including a reluctance to conduct caesarean sections and a tendency to blame mothers for problems.

The report has been years in the making and those involved had have time to make the necessary arrangements for its publication. The publication of the report has already been delayed from December 2021 to this March and, in this context, I share the families frustration. Each delay in this report being produced not only triggers further grief and anger for those affected all over again but also affects the ability for lessons from this tragedy to be fully learned. It is therefore crucial that  any roadblocks to the report’s publication are resolved and that this report is published in full as soon as possible."

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