Worst-ever NHS maternity ward scandal as police probe into 'at least 1,200' deaths

Worst-ever NHS maternity ward scandal as police probe into 'at least 1,200' deaths

A criminal inquiry has been launched into an NHS trust at the centre of the worst maternity scandal in the health service's history, it has been claimed. Police are investigating alleged poor care at a hospital in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. The NHS trust responsible for the hospital, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, is already at the centre of an NHS inquiry into at least 1,200 alleged cases involving the deaths of babies and mothers. Last year, a leaked report detailed how at least 42 babies and three mothers had died between 1979 and 2017. The Independent has revealed West Mercia Police are now looking for evidence of criminal actions by either the NHS trust or specific individuals. This comes after a meeting with NHS chiefs and the chair of the independent inquiry, midwife Donna Ockenden, earlier on Tuesday. An initial review in 2017 focused on just 23 cases, but since then, hundreds more families have come forward with claims. Since the original scale of alleged poor care was revealed, the number of families' cases being investigated has now swelled to at least 1,200. Assistant chief constable Geoff Wessell from West Mercia Police said: "Today, June 30, 2020, we have met with NHS Improvement, The Department of Health and the independent reviewer to discuss complaints made against Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust in relation to maternity services and provision. "We can confirm that a police investigation will be conducted to explore whether there is evidence to support a criminal case either against the ...
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