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Shropshire baby deaths: Hospitals must adopt new safety steps

All NHS trusts in England have been given a deadline of Monday to enact safety improvements in maternity care amid Shropshire's baby deaths scandal.

Heath chiefs have told hospitals they must have the 12 "urgent clinical priorities" in place by 17:00 GMT. The move is to address "too much variation" in outcomes for families.

It comes during a probe into the maternity care of more than 1,800 families in Shropshire.

The inquiry, launched amid concerns of repeated failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), focuses on the experience of 1,862 in total, and includes instances of infant fatality.

An interim report published last week found poor care over nearly two decades had harmed dozens of women and their babies.

The report called for seven "essential actions" to be implemented at maternity units across England. But that has since been transformed into 12 clinical tasks, including giving women with complex pregnancies a named consultant, ensuring regular training of fetal heart rate monitoring, and developing a proper process to gather the views of families.

The directions are revealed in a letter in which NHS England says there is "too much variation in experience and outcomes for women and their families".

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Source: BBC News, 15 December 2020


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