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Shrewsbury maternity scandal: NHS used report to create ‘false narrative’ on maternity services

NHS bosses have been accused of using a 2013 report to “maintain a false narrative” about maternity services in Shropshire, which meant poor practices and conditions went unchallenged for years.

The Independent has obtained a 2013 report, commissioned by NHS managers in Shropshire, which concluded maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust were “safe”, of “good quality”, and “delivered in a learning organisation”.

The report, written by rheumatologist Dr Josh Dixey (now high sheriff of Shropshire), delivered a glowing assessment of the care given to women and babies and appeared to gloss over hints of deeper problems within the service.

Sources within the Shropshire and Telford clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which paid £60,000 for the report, said since it was written it had been “proven to be wrong, inaccurate and to have come to the wrong conclusions and recommendations”, but also stressed it was based on the information received from the trust at the time.

A leaked report last month revealed dozens of mothers and babies had died at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, with incidents of poor care stretching over four decades, due to repeated failures to learn from mistakes.

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Source: The Independent, 4 December 2019


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