Parents criticise Shropshire's 'safe' maternity services report

Kate Stanton-Davies photographed with her mother, Rhiannon Baby Kate died despite being taken by air ambulance to Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham

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A report into Shropshire's maternity care, commissioned following the death of a baby, said practices are "safe".

But the parents of Kate Stanton-Davies, who died in 2009, said the review did not go far enough and they feel "no lessons have been learnt".

Their baby was born with anaemia at Ludlow Community Hospital and transferred to Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital before she died.

The midwife-led unit is 40 miles away from the nearest paediatric consultant.

Start Quote

If paediatric expertise was just down the corridor more babies would be alive now”

End Quote Richard Stanton-Davies Father of Kate

Rhiannon Stanton-Davies, who had been screened for problems with her pregnancy, said her daughter should have survived.

At the inquest into their daughter's death, a pathologist told the court a haemorrhage had occurred "at least a week" before the birth leaving the baby extremely anaemic but this could have been corrected by a blood transfusion in the womb.

"The screening clearly wasn't good enough. and I should never have been allocated to the community hospital to give birth," Mrs Stanton-Davies said.

"And lessons haven't been learned - the maternity report found that a quarter of mothers giving birth in midwife-led units are still being transferred to a proper hospital anyway."

'Good standard'

She added: "If something goes wrong you have to wait for an ambulance to transfer you.

"In that time you or your baby could die.

"The coroner concluded that if she had been born in a consultant-led unit, Kate could have had a healthy birth and lived."

Following the report, the Clinical Commissioning Group made several recommendations, including providing midwives with greater neonatal resuscitation skills.

However, it concluded "maternity services are safe and of a good standard in Shropshire".

Richard Stanton-Davies said: "If something happens [during labour] it can be catastrophic.

"Midwife-led units should at least be next to a consultant-led unit, not 40 miles away.

"If paediatric expertise was just down the corridor more babies would be alive now," he added.

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