Published by BBC NEWS - 9th March 2022

Kate Stanton-Davies with her mother Rhiannon

Image source, Richard Stanton

The publication of a report into failures of maternity care at an NHS trust has been delayed again.

Senior midwife Donna Ockenden has been investigating hundreds of cases in which mothers and babies may have been harmed at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTh).

Her report had been due to be published on 22 March after being postponed from December.

In a letter to families, Ms Ockenden said that date “can no longer happen”.

She added it was down to “parliamentary processes” which have to happen before the final report can be published.

The delay is a “massive kick in the guts”, according to a tweet by Rhiannon Davies, whose daughter Kate died hours after her birth in March 2009.

Ms Davies and her partner Richard Stanton, along with Kayleigh and Colin Griffiths, whose daughter Pippa died in 2016, have campaigned for the review.

Donna Ockenden

Image source, Ockenden Review

A written statement to Parliament on Tuesday by patient safety minister Maria Caulfield said the NHS had been working to get indemnity cover.

She said it would be to cover any potential legal action following the publication of the report and had been agreed in principle by the Treasury.

Ms Ockenden’s team has been examining 1,862 cases and it is thought to be the largest ever review of maternity care in the NHS.

Her interim report published in December 2020 found some mothers were blamed for their babies’ deaths.

In her letter about the delay, Ms Ockenden said she and her team were “also very disappointed in the delay” and would be working to agree a new publication date.

SaTh previously said it was co-operating fully with the review team and added most of the actions raised in an interim report had already been completed.

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