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Shrewsbury maternity scandal: NHS plans ‘early warning’ system to spot future care mistakes

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Health chiefs are designing an “early warning” system to detect and prevent future maternity care scandals before they happen, a health minister has said.

Patient safety minister Nadine Dorries said she hoped the system would highlight hospitals and maternity units where mistakes were being made earlier.

The former nurse also revealed the Department of Health and Social Care was drawing up a plan for a joint national curriculum for both midwives and obstetricians to make sure they had the skills to look after women safely.

During a Parliamentary debate following the publication of a report into the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital care scandal, the minister was challenged by MPs to take action to prevent future scandals.

The former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, warned the failings at the Shropshire trust, where dozens of babies died or were left with permanent brain damage, could be repeated elsewhere.

He said: “The biggest mistake in interpreting this report would be to think that what happened at Shrewsbury and Telford is a one-off — it may well not be, and we mustn't assume that it is.”

Ms Dorries said: “Every woman should own her birth plan, be in control of what is happening to her during her delivery and I really hope ... this report is fundamental in how it's going to reform the maternity services across the UK going forward.

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Source: The Independent, 11 December 2020

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