An NHS doctor has appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a primary school teacher who died after an emergency Caesarean.
Frances Cuppuccini, who was 30 years old, died at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury after giving birth to her son.
Today consultant Errol Cornish stood in the dock, alongside Glenn Douglas, the chief executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust - the health body accused of corporate manslaughter - a legal first.
Andrea Thomas reports.
An NHS doctor has appeared in court charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of a primary school teacher who died after giving birth by emergency Caesarean section.
Errol Cornish stood in the dock alongside Glenn Douglas, chief executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, which is facing a landmark prosecution over Frances Cappuccini's death.
Mrs Cappuccini, 30, died at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury, Kent, after giving birth to her son by emergency Caesarean section on October 9 2012.
Last month Kent Police said a decision had been taken to prosecute 67-year-old father-of-two Cornish, along with Dr Nadeem Azeez, 52, for the gross negligence manslaughter of Mrs Cappuccini, who was married to husband Tom.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, which runs Tunbridge Wells Hospital, is accused of corporate manslaughter - the first time an NHS trust has been charged with the offence since its introduction in 2008. At Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court today, on behalf of the Trust, Douglas, 56, and South African-born consultant anaesthetist Cornish, of Holmbury Park, Bromley, south east London, spoke only to confirm their name and date of birth during a first hearing in the case.
The case was committed to Maidstone Crown Court, with a preliminary hearing listed for May 22.
Kent Police said an arrest warrant has been issued for Azeez, formerly of Chestnut Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, who has returned to Pakistan. Locals said Mrs Cappuccini was a "much-loved and dedicated" teacher at Offham School in Kent, which she joined as a newly-qualified teacher, taking reception and early year classes.
An agency nurse has been paid £1,800 for working a single 11-hour Bank Holiday shift at a Kent hospital.
Health watchdogs say the payment is the result of chaotic recruitment in the NHS.
But the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust says it was the victim of 'market forces'.
John Ryall spoke to Dr John Lister of the campaign group Health Emergency and the Liberal Democrat candidate for Maidstone and The Weald Jasper Gerard.
A hospital in Kent is to be fined at least £1.5m for failing to meet Government infection targets. Andrew and Sangeeta link to Iain McBride.
The Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust is facing a fine of at least £1.5 million for missing its target for controlling the infection Clostridium difficile at its sites.
The Trust was set a yearly reduction target - with the limit of forty-nine cases occurring up to the end of March 2013. The penalty being a £500,000 fine for each case over the target. However fifty two cases of the superbug have already been recorded.
The Trust has said that it is disappointed, but that it wanted to reassure patients that figures are down on last year, and the number of cases continues to be at an all time low.