Preventable Baby Deaths At East Kent NHS Foundation Trust Hospitals

A BBC investigation has found that at least seven baby deaths “could have been avoided” at East Kent NHS Foundation Trust hospitals since 2016, and has highlighted serious problems about the maternity units of the hospitals in question.

The Trust manages five hospitals across the region, which are:

  • Kent and Canterbury Hospital
  • William Harvey Hospital
  • Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital
  • Buckland Hospital
  • Royal Victoria Hospital

The investigation references a number of the preventable baby deaths at East Kent NHS Foundation Trust hospitals, which includes Archie Powell, Tallulah-Rai Edwards, Hallie-Rae Leek, Archie Batten and two stillborn deaths in 2016. Tomorrow, it is expected that the Trust will face further criticism following the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Harry Richford.

Following the investigation, East Kent NHS Foundation Trust has apologised, commenting that it has:

not always provided the right standard of care for every woman and baby in our hospitals“.

Additionally, the investigation states that despite a number of problems being reported to the Trust prior to 2016, that sufficient improvements were not been made to their maternity care units.

Review of maternity care at East Kent NHS Foundation Trust

Upon request by the Trust, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) undertook a review of maternity care being provided at the hospitals in 2015 due to “concerns over the working culture“. The review found that there was:

  • A poor standard of team working in the maternity units;
  • Some consultants operating at their own discretion and not following hospital procedures;
  • Insufficient levels of performance management of the consultant body; and
  • Outdated guidelines.

However, despite the review by the RCOG, the Trust failed to make the necessary improvements to its maternity care.

Kent NHS baby deathsHow Nelsons can help

Carolle White is an Associate & Chartered Legal Executive in our expert Medical Negligence team.

If you or a family member have cause to be concerned about the standard of medical treatment you received whilst giving birth, then please get in touch with us and we will advise you of your options. You can contact a member of our team on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.

Our team of specialist solicitors are experienced in dealing with claims for compensation following pregnancy and birth injuries. We deal with all cases in a sensitive and compassionate manner. We are always happy to discuss the circumstances of your potential claim either over the phone, via email or where appropriate at a meeting.