Police investigating 701 cases linked to poor maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is part of the trust under investigation. Credit: PA

More than 700 cases are being reviewed by West Mercia Police in relation to poor care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Foundation Trust.

The force's investigation, Operation Lincoln, was launched in 2017 to explore whether there is evidence to support a criminal case against the Trust or any individuals involved.

Last week an independent inquiry, the Ockenden Review, was published, which found that 201 babies and nine mothers could have survived if the trust had provided better care.

It found repeated failings spanning 20 years, which led to babies dying, or being left seriously disabled.

Following the publication of that report, the force has provided an update on the number of cases they are reviewing.

Detective Chief Superintendent Damian Barratt said, “From the outset the police investigation has been working closely with the Independent Review, the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust and with families. 

"As a result we have identified 823 cases, dated between October 2003 (the formation of the Trust) and the present date that we wanted to examine. Included in the 823 cases are four cases that have occurred since 2019.

“Out of that 823 cases mentioned 701 remain an active part of our investigation."

Detective Barratt adds: "122 have been reviewed and a decision has been made that there is insufficient evidence for us to progress these cases any further. The affected families have been informed of this decision and have been offered continued support from our dedicated family liaison team.

“The scope of a police investigation differs from that of an independent review and there are parameters and thresholds around what can, and cannot, be included in a criminal investigation. Therefore, as we continue to the review cases, the final number included in our investigation will differ and is likely to be significantly less than this 701. 

“We have been, and remain, committed to ensuring that every possible potential case is fully reviewed, and the families involved fully informed as our investigation progresses. They deserve nothing less.

“Our investigation remains active with a focused and dedicated team and we make a promise to the families, to the Telford and Shrewsbury communities and to the wider public that we will keep you informed as the investigation progresses.”

The force had previously said they were investigating around 600 cases.