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East Kent Hospital Trust: Baby deaths investigator appoints expert panel

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image captionEast Kent Hospitals Trust is being investigated over a number of maternity deaths

A team of medical experts has been assembled as part of an inquiry into baby deaths at a Kent hospital trust.

East Kent Hospitals Trust is subject to an independent investigation over a series of failings that led to the deaths of up to 15 babies.

Lead investigator Dr Bill Kirkup said he had already contacted families involved.

Dr Kirkup said he would still like to hear from affected families who investigators have not yet spoken to.

He will be assisted by five experts across the fields of obstetrics, midwifery, neonatal medicine, clinical governance and information management, it was revealed on Monday.

"It is important that the families are able to meet the panel to ensure that the investigation answers the range of important concerns emerging," Dr Kirkup said.

"Using video conferencing gives us the opportunity to do so while the Covid-19 restrictions remain."

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionHarry Richford was one of the babies who died as a result of failings

Dr Kirkup said a "significant" number of families have been in touch regarding concerns over the care they received.

The full panel will meet for the first time on 29 June, but investigators are already scrutinising initial cases after the inquiry officially began in April.

One of the advisers is James Titcombe who became a maternity expert after he lost his own son as part of the Morecambe Bay scandal.

Failings came to light during the inquest of Harry Richford, who died seven days after his birth at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in November 2017.

A coroner ruled Harry's death was "wholly avoidable" and was contributed to by hospital neglect.

The Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB) first raised concerns in 2018, but found the failings continued.

Related Topics

  • Childbirth
  • NHS
  • Margate

More on this story

  • East Kent baby deaths: 'Hospital did not learn from mistakes'

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