Shrewsbury maternity scandal: Law firm reports 180 new concerns about poor care

More than 800 cases now under investigation by review into poor care at Shropshire NHS trust

Shaun Lintern
Health Correspondent
Wednesday 04 December 2019 19:43
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Lawyers have urged Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust to set up a process to deal with complaints quickly
Lawyers have urged Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust to set up a process to deal with complaints quickly

Lawyers acting for families affected by poor care at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust say they have received almost 200 new enquiries since The Independent highlighted the findings of a leaked report last month.

More than 800 cases are now under investigation by midwife Donna Ockenden who herself issued an appeal last week for any families with concerns about their care at the Shropshire trust to come forward.

The scale of alleged poor care at the trust, which stretches from 1979 to as recently as 2018 has prompted lawyers to urge the trust to set up a special process to deal with complaints quickly.

Kay Kelly, head of the clinical negligence team at Lanyon Bowdler, which is based in Shrewsbury, said the firm had received 180 new enquiries from families since the leaked Donna Ockenden report was revealed two weeks ago.

She said: “We screen each new enquiry carefully and we will only advise proceeding with investigations into a negligence claim where we consider there are sufficiently good prospects of success.”

“However all enquiries are important and we provide the families with relevant details so that they can contact the independent inquiry,” she added.

“In the circumstances due to such a high volume of concerned families, I have written to the trust to suggest setting up a scheme designed to encourage resolution of the cases promptly without the need for any court proceedings and reducing costs for the NHS and uncertainty for the families.”

She said this could take the form of alternative dispute resolution process which NHS Resolution, the body which handles negligence claims on behalf of NHS trusts, has said it supports.

Ms Kelly added: “The alternative would be running the cases without any attempt at coordination which is likely to be slow for claimants and expensive for the trust.”

Lanyon Bowdler has already acted on behalf of families in around 50 cases involving baby and mother deaths and serious injury in Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust over the past 15 years.

Families with concerns who want to contact the independent review run by Ms Ockenden can contact her by email at maternityreview@donnaockenden.com or on 01243 786993

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