£95m to be invested in maternity services after damning report into failings at Shropshire hospitals

Credit: PA

The NHS is set to spend almost £100 million to improve maternity care in England following a damning report at a scandal-hit trust in the Midlands.

In December last year, an independent inquiry found babies' skulls were fractured and medical staff at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) blamed grieving mothers for the deaths of their children.

Now, NHS England has committed to investing £95 million for workforce numbers, training and development programmes to support culture and leadership, and strengthening surveillance to identify issues earlier.

The inquiry into deaths and allegations of poor care at SaTH was set up in 2017 and is reviewing 1,862 families - making it "the largest number of clinical reviews undertaken relating to a single service, as part of an inquiry, in the history of the NHS".

The chief executive of the trust apologised for the "pain and distress" caused to mothers and families due to poor maternity care - after the review found staff had been "flippant", "abrupt" and "dismissive".

The review also said the deaths of Kate Stanton Davies in 2009 and Pippa Griffiths in 2016, whose families had campaigned for an independent review into maternity care at the trust, "were avoidable".

Kate's mother, Rhiannon Davies said there needs to be "transparency from NHS England as to where every penny goes". She added: "Every single penny is needed to ensure that babies precious lives are protected and saved."

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Professor Jackie Dunkley-Bent, NHS England's chief midwifery officer, said: "The funding means we can build on and accelerate progress and make maternity services in England safer and better for women, babies and their families."

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