East Kent baby deaths: Families wait for Government response on maternity services

The Government is due to respond to an investigation into the deaths of babies at East Kent Hospitals.

The reports were commissioned in response to the death of baby Harry Richford at the QEQM hospital in Margate. Harry died just seven days after his emergency delivery in November 2017, an inquest found. The coroner said his death was 'wholly avoidable'.

Harry's father, Tom Richford said the scale of the problem at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust needs to be understood before it can be resolved.

Speaking this morning, Mr Richford criticised trust chief executive Susan Acott. He said that despite writing "numerous letters", he and his wife Sarah had never spoken to her.

Harry Richford died just seven days after his emergency delivery in November 2017 Credit: ITV Meridian
Iris Crowhurst's daughter Jessica was stillborn in September 2011 Credit: ITV Meridian

It comes amid reports that at least seven preventable baby deaths may have occurred at the trust since 2016. Iris Crowhurst's baby girl Jessica was stillborn in September 2011 at the QEQM.

Her mother Iris - believes the Trust failed to learn lessons from her daughters death.

At Harry's inquest last month, Coroner Christopher Sutton-Mattocks listed a series of errors he found with the care given at the hospital. He gave a narrative conclusion that Harry's death was contributed to by neglect and had been "wholly avoidable".

Bosses at the NHS trust said it was with "great sadness" that they accepted failing Harry and his family.

The QEQM Hospital has apologised to every family it says it let down Credit: ITV Meridian

It's understood the Trust won't be put into special measures but will receive specialist support to help turn things around and continue to be closely monitored.