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East Kent baby deaths: Scale of deaths at trust 'not clear-cut'

The boss of an NHS trust at the centre of concerns about preventable baby deaths has claimed the scale of the failings is not clearly defined.

Susan Acott, Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals Trust, said there had only been "six or seven" avoidable deaths at the trust since 2011. However, the BBC revealed on Monday that the trust previously accepted responsibility for at least 10.

Ms Acott said some of the baby deaths were "not as clear-cut".

A series of failings came to light during the inquest of Harry Richford who died seven days after his birth at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in November 2017. A coroner ruled Harry's death was "wholly avoidable" and was contributed to by hospital neglect.

Ms Acott added she had not read a key report from 2015 drawing attention to maternity problems at the trust until December 2019.

Ms Acott claims that from 2011 to 2020 there were "about six or seven" baby deaths that were viewed as preventable. She says the other deaths were being investigated adding "these things aren't always black and white".

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Source: BBC News, 12 February 2020


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