Maternity staff from scandal-hit Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital Trust asked to speak out as part of ongoing review

  • Video report by Charlotte Cross

Former and current staff members from the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital Trust are being asked to speak out as part of an ongoing review into the historic maternity scandal.

The team from the independent review, being led by midwife Donna Ockenden, are appealing for anyone who worked in maternity services between 2000 to now to share their experiences of working for the department.

The review is dealing with some 1,862 stories of alleged poor care from patients, some dating back 40 years - including dozens of deaths of babies and mothers.

Speaking to ITV Central, Ms Ockenden said: "We want to know, for example, did staff ever raise concerns - and if they did were they listened to?

"And when things went wrong - and we understand things can go wrong in the best maternity services - but when things went wrong, were those things investigated?" 

Doctors, midwives, anaesthetists, obstetricians, nurses, support workers, administrators, theatre staff, portering staff and managers are among those being asked to take part in the survey.

Credit: PA

"There will also be an opportunity for some staff to participate in more detailed confidential conversations with review team members if they wish to,” she added.

She told ITV Central she wanted to assure anybody nervous about taking part that it was completely anonymous, and was not aimed at placing blame.

But for families like those of Kate Stanton-Davies, who died in 2009 just hours after being born, it feels vitally important.

“It would mean an awful lot to all of the families affected if their stories that they’ve shared are supported by those who witnessed the poor care," Rhiannon Davies said.

"You can’t condone what has gone on, but you can understand if people have been too afraid to speak up. Well now this is your opportunity and you can do so anonymously, and you can help change the future of maternity care for the better.”

It was down to years of campaigning by her and Kate's father Richard, along with Kayleigh and Colin Griffiths who lost their daughter Pippa in 2016, that the review got started.

It’s only since then that the scale of the problem has become clear.

As well as looking at what happened in individual cases, the Ockenden review wants to know why it wasn’t picked up sooner.

Kate Stanton-Davies, pictured with her mother Rhiannon. Credit: Family handout

“The question that I’m still asking myself is WHY did it take those two persistently brave families for this inquiry, this review, to commence?" Ms Ockenden said.

"Because there should have been systems and processes and structures in place, but it took two families.

"And that is something that will remain with me forever because that simply shouldn’t have had to be the case.”

The first report from the review was released in December, examining the first 250 cases flagged to the team.

It identified 27 ‘actions for learning’ at the Trust, which Ms Ockenden said were “essential to improve safety”.

She also drew up seven ‘immediate and essential actions’ which she said needed to be introduced not only at the Trust, but in maternity services across England.

As part of preparing the next report, the team is reportedly now focusing on completing clinical reviews - which aims to include not only family voices, but staff voices as well.

To date, staff have not publicly spoken about the maternity scandal other than by statememts given via the official Trust media department.

Asked whether the Trust would support staff who wished to take part, or offer reassurance to anyone concerned, chief executive Louise Barnett released the following statement: "The Trust continues to work closely with the Independent Maternity Review team, and to facilitate staff feedback in the ongoing review we have shared the details of the survey with colleagues through verbal and written briefings.

"We have also made the information available on our website and staff intranet.”

Any member of staff or former member of staff who wishes to take part can e-mail They will then be sent an anonymised, confidential questionnaire.

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