A Tragedy in Maternity Care: Who knew? Why did they keep quiet?
Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Defend Our NHS spoke this morning to Richard Stanton, father of
Kate Stanton Davies. Kate was born in March 2009. She died when she was just six hours old, and
her death was avoidable.
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My experience of attending SaTH Executive meetings was an arrogance, and lack of concern for the public, from those at the top, and an almost complete lack of scrutiny from those at the meetings. A determined few would attempt to drive questioning, but would always be fillibustered into submission.There was also evidence that demonstrably inappropriate people were promoted well beyond their competence.
“There was also evidence that demonstrably inappropriate people were promoted well beyond their competence.”
Absolutely right, Tony. Unfortunately this included the Chief Executive, the Medical Director, and the Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality. Non-Executive Directors (with very few exceptions) made no attempt to hold the Executive to account, and the Chair had no notion that part of his role was to safeguard the interests of the public.
Within the Trust there was therefore – for many years – no effective oversight of what was actually happening in a maternity service that had gone very rotten indeed.
This was combined with CCGs and regional NHS England well aware of major safety issues – but failing to take any significant steps that might put things right. And then the CQC inspection of 2014 and the ensuing 2015 report concluded that all was fine in maternity – when it very conspicuously was not.
The NHS is meant to be full of checks and balances to keep care safe. This is why NHS care is very often safer than private care. In Shropshire, those checks and balances failed at every single level. Babies and women went on dying because senior leaders in the local NHS knew there was a problem but seem to have decided to look the other way. This MUST be investigated if there is to be safety in Shropshire’s NHS in the future.