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East Kent hospitals: Care watchdog inspects trust after baby death apology

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England's care watchdog has carried out a no-notice inspection of an NHS trust at the centre of concerns over the possible preventable deaths of babies. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is investigating East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust but has not yet decided whether to prosecute.

It comes as the trust is likely to be heavily criticised at an inquest into the death of baby Harry Richford.

On Thursday, the BBC revealed significant concerns have been raised about maternity services at the trust, and a series of preventable baby deaths may have occurred there. On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the trust's maternity services were subject to an unannounced inspection from the CQC.

On Thursday night, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement: "We are truly sorry for the death of baby Harry and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Harry's family. We accept that Harry's care fell short of the standard that we expect to offer every mother giving birth in our hospital and we are fully cooperating with the CQC's investigation into Harry Richford's death."

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Source: BBC News, 24 January 2020

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