Claims of a cover up following the death of a Thalidomide baby born more than fifty years ago

Police have been asked to investigate a family's claim of a cover-up over medical records relating to the birth and death of a Thalidomide baby, more than fifty years ago.

Keith and Shirley Hudson have only recently discovered the last resting place of their baby boy, who was born in December 1962 with physical deformities caused by the morning sickness drug

But they were distressed they couldn't find a birth or death certificate and Mrs Hudson's GP files make no mention of the boy's birth in Bradford, or even prescription of the drug. The family, now living in East Yorkshire, has reported what they believe is a theft of medical records to West Yorkshire Police.

“This is a tragic and sad case and our hearts go out to Mr and Mrs Hudson on their on-going grief. I can confirm that all maternity records are destroyed under confidential conditions 25 years after the birth of the last child in line with Department of Health rules and the Data Protection Act.

“We acknowledge that back in the 1960s attitudes and practices within the NHS were very different and the way we care for bereaved parents has changed profoundly over the last 52 years. All staff recognise that to lose a baby - atany point in pregnancy- is traumatic.

“We ensure that parents are now given clear, sensitive and honest information about their baby’s passing so that they can remain in control and are supported in their own decisions about what happens to them and their baby.

“Parents are now encouraged to name their baby because it allows them to remember and refer to their child more easily as they grieve.

“We also have special maternity suites where parents can spend time with the baby, take family pictures, make mementos such as hand and footprints and gather together items like name bracelets, cot cards and anything else that will remind them of their child.

“We employ a specialist bereavement support midwife who can offer parents counselling or who can put them in touch with excellent organisations, such as SANDS, who offer specialist help and support.

“We know that in 2014 the NHS is a more compassionate and caring place for parents who have lost babies or whose babies are born with disabilities.

“We take comfort that we have been able to help reunite Mr and Mrs Hudson with their son’s final resting place and we mourn with them today on their sad loss all those years ago.”

– Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s chief nurse Juliette Greenwood

"We are not aware that we have been formally approached yet by Mr and Mrs Hudson about the sad death of their baby boy.

There is now a much better understanding of how to support grieving families than there was in the 1960s.

This progress does not however help Mr and Mrs Hudson and their daughter, or help them to deal with their experiences. Now that their story has been brought to our attention, we will do all we can to help the family get answers to their questions."

– Gillian Laurence, Assistant Director of Clinical Strategy (West Yorkshire) at NHS England