Babies' deaths at centre of inquest

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Indy Lifestyle Online

An investigation has been launched into the deaths of three babies who died within nine months of each other at the Diana, Princess of Wales Children's Hospital in Birmingham.

Earlier this week, the Birmingham coroner, Richard Whittington, opened inquests into the three unrelated cases amid speculation that two senior consultants had been suspended. The inquest was later adjourned.

Six-week-old Eve Freer, one-year-old Joseph Calvert and Lucy Wolfe, who was just a few days old, died after treatment for heart defects at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, all within the past nine months.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said that the Trust had undertaken thorough investigations into the three cases as part of its clinical audit procedures, and that these reports had been provided to the coroner at his request.

She added that the hospital did not wish to comment further, but would like to express its sincerest sympathies to the families concerned.

The hospital also refused to comment on reports that the consultants who carried out operations on Eve and Joseph had been suspended.

A spokesman for the corner said that, as he was not informed of the deaths at the time they occurred, he would have to use information from any post-mortem examinations that may have been carried out by the hospital.

The Birmingham Children's Hospital was at the centre of the 1999 organ harvesting scandal, which exposed the taking of tissue from dead bodies without families' knowledge.