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Parents watched 18 month old die after Shrewsbury hospital failings

Alice and Lewis Jones were forced to watch their 18-month-old baby die in front of them after a failure by a scandal-hit NHS trust left him with a “catastrophic brain injury” following his birth.

Their son Ronnie was one of hundreds of babies who have died following errors by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital, where the largest NHS maternity scandal to date was previously uncovered by The Independent.

Two years later, Mr and Mrs Jones are calling for the Supreme Court to overturn a controversial decision in February which ruled bereaved relatives could not claim compensation over the psychological impact of seeing a loved one die, even if it was caused by medical negligence.

It comes after the trust admitted to failings in a letter to the parents’ lawyers.

Ronnie’s birth in 2020 fell outside of the Ockenden review and his parents have warned it showed failures were still occurring despite warnings made during the inquiry.

Within the Ockenden inquiry, multiple cases of staff failing to recognise and act upon CTG training were found, and the final report recommended all hospitals have systems to ensure staff are trained and up to date in CTG and emergency skills.

The report also said the NHS should make CTG training mandatory and that clinicians must not work in labour wards or provide childbirth care without it.

A CTG measures a baby’s heart and monitors conditions in the uterus and is an important measure before birth and during labour to observe the baby for any signs of distress.

Ms Jones said: “We knew about the Ockenden review, but everything at Telford was new and so I think we just assumed that lessons had been learned, the same thing wouldn’t happen to us.”

Ronnie’s parents are campaigning to reverse the Supreme Court which ruled that “secondary victims” – including parents who are not directly harmed by the birth – are not eligible to bring claims for psychiatric injury following medical negligence.

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Source: The Independent, 14 March 2024


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