Calls for public inquiry into East Kent hospitals involvement in baby deaths

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Sarah Saunders

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust is under increasing pressure to carry out a public inquiry into baby deaths at the trust.

On Monday it apologised for its involvement in the deaths of three more babies in maternity units there.

This afternoon (10th Feb), the Department of Health received reports from two investigations into maternity and healthcare at the Trust.

Harry Richford should be an almost two and a half year-old toddler today.

It comes following an inquest into the death of Harry Richford.

Harry died a week after he was born in November 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Hospital in Margate.

The family were originally told the death was expected, but after their ongoing fight for answers, an inquest was granted. The coroner ruled Harry's death was in fact entirely avoidable.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Harry's mum Sarah says: "We went into that hospital with 100% trust, and we thought we would come out with our baby."

The Richford's tragedy has brought to light other cases of potentially preventable baby deaths under the care of the East Kent Trust.

Twenty six cases are now being officially investigated.

Sarah and Tom Richford, Harry's parents Credit: ITV Meridian

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust reiterated its sadness for the families affected.

In a statement it said: "We have made significant changes to maternity care since an independent review in 2015.

"We are treating the recently raised concerns about the safety of the service with the utmost seriousness and urgency.

"Leading maternity experts have already started work with us to help us identify further changes we need to make."

It also says it will not rest "until they are delivering an outstanding maternity service that has the full confidence of all families in east Kent."