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Shropshire baby deaths: Ockenden report delayed for second time

The publication of a report into failures of maternity care at an NHS trust has been delayed again.

Senior midwife Donna Ockenden has been investigating hundreds of cases in which mothers and babies may have been harmed at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTh).

Her report had been due to be published on 22 March after being postponed from December.

In a letter to families, Ms Ockenden said that date "can no longer happen". She added it was down to "parliamentary processes" which have to happen before the final report can be published.

A written statement to Parliament on Tuesday by patient safety minister Maria Caulfield said the NHS had been working to get indemnity cover.

She said it would be to cover any potential legal action following the publication of the report and had been agreed in principle by the Treasury.

Ms Ockenden's team has been examining 1,862 cases and it is thought to be the largest ever review of maternity care in the NHS. Her interim report published in December 2020 found some mothers were blamed for their babies' deaths.

In her letter about the delay, Ms Ockenden said she and her team were "also very disappointed in the delay" and would be working to agree a new publication date.

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Source: BBC News, 9 March 2022


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