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45 baby deaths could have been avoided at 2 British hospitals, report says

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Oct 20, 2022 - 01:45 AM

LONDON (AA) – A report published on Wednesday found that at least 45 baby deaths could have been avoided at two British hospitals.

The report came after an independent inquiry into maternity services at two hospitals in Kent, east England. The inquiry, commissioned in 2020, investigated over 200 cases of poor care dating back to 2009.

Dr Bill Kirkup, the chair of the inquiry, said mothers were ignored by staff and heard that families received “suboptimal” care at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

The report said that an overriding theme raised in the inquiry was “the failure of the trust’s staff to take notice of women when they raised concerns, when they questioned their care, and when they challenged the decisions that were made about their care.”

The report also found that staff were “disrespectful to women and disparaging about the capabilities of colleagues.”

The report said that the hospitals had provided national standards of care, 45 out of 65 baby deaths could have had a different outcome. Out of 17 cases of brain damage, 12 could have had a different outcome.

“I want to say sorry and apologise unreservedly for the harm and suffering that has been experienced by the women and babies who were within our care, together with their families, as described in today’s report,” said Tracey Fletcher, the trust’s chief executive. “These families came to us expecting that we would care for them safely, and we failed them.”

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