Shropshire baby deaths: Angry reaction to health trust's reassurance

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Media captionShropshire baby deaths: Hospital trust boss says 'sorry'

Bereaved parents have reacted angrily to a scandal-hit hospital trust saying expectant mothers can trust its maternity services.

Chief executive Paula Clark said families could now be "confident" in the maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).

Rhiannon Davies, whose baby died in the care of the trust in 2009, said: I would not go anywhere near it."

The trust is being investigated over a number of deaths of babies and mothers.

Image copyright Richard Stanton
Image caption Rhiannon Davies, whose baby, Kate, died in 2009, said she "would not go anywhere near" SaTH maternity services

A leaked interim report detailed maternity failings at SaTH dating back five decades that led to avoidable deaths and injuries.

It describes how babies were left brain-damaged because staff failed to realise labour was going wrong and heartbeats were not monitored adequately.

But the hospital trust said it had taken criticism on board and was making improvements.

"We want to reassure families that we are making changes, that we are learning the lessons and that they can be confident about having their babies with us," Ms Clark said.

She offered her "unreserved apologies" to families and said there had been a "sea change" in the culture at the trust.

Ms Clark added that SaTH had implemented national NHS guidance on saving babies' lives and improved its monitoring of foetal heartbeats.

Image caption The trust says it is making improvements to its maternity care and has already seen a "sea change" in what was described as a "toxic" culture

"This is about transparency for us as an organisation, learning the lessons and making sure that all staff are held to account," said Ms Clark.

Ms Davies, who campaigned for an independent inquiry after daughter Kate died, reacted angrily.

"The words are empty and meaningless and based on no evidence," she said. "The fact is that the trust has not changed and will not change."

Image caption Chloe Jade Barwick, whose baby Maddison was delivered by Caesarean at Telford's Princess Royal, said her care had been good

Other families expressed confidence in maternity services at the trust.

Chloe Jade Barwick, whose baby Maddison was delivered by Caesarean at Telford's Princess Royal two days ago, said her experience had been good.

"Everyone's been willing to help me... personally, I can't fault the service but everyone's experiences are different."

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