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‘Obfuscations and failures’ in trust’s handling of death, damning review finds

There were ’obfuscations, difficulties and failures’ in a scandal-hit trust’s handling of a baby’s death, a damning review has found, although it cleared the organisation’s former chair of ’serious mismanagement’.

A fit and proper person review into the conduct of former Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust chair Ben Reid, who left in August 2020, has been published by the board.

The report follows complaints about Mr Reid’s conduct from the family of baby Kate Stanton-Davies, who died in the trust’s care and whose case – alongside that of Pippa Griffiths – sparked the original Ockenden inquiry.

In March 2022, the final Ockenden report into maternity services at Shrewsbury found poor maternity care had resulted in almost 300 avoidable baby deaths or brain damage cases in the most damning review of maternity services in the NHS’s history.

Report author Fiona Scolding KC said she does not believe Mr Reid “lied” or acted unethically in his handling of complaints from the family and therefore this does not disqualify him from holding office within the terms of such a review.

However, the report is highly critical of the trust, with Ms Scolding concluding it is “undoubtedly true” the provider had not dealt with Kate’s father Richard Stanton and her mother Rhiannon Davies in an “open and honest” way in respect of their daughter’s death.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 13 October 2022


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