Grieving parents meet panel investigating baby deaths in East Kent

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

Grieving parents whose babies died under the care of East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust have met the panel set up to help them find answers.

The independent investigation was set up after a series of preventable baby deaths going back at least five years. The inquiry began scrutinising cases in April.

The families spoke about their experiences and what they hope the inquiry will consider as they met the full panel of experts to consider the findings so far.

Dr Bill Kirkup who is leading the independent investigation announced on Monday the hand picked panel who are assisting him.

  • Heather Brown, Consultant Obstetrician at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

  • Valerie Clare, Head of Midwifery at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust 

  • Helen Mactier, Neonatal Expert

  • Alison Fuller, Leader in NHS Accountability and Quality

  • Denise McDonagh, Data Specialist

Meetings with the families are taking place this week and into July, via video conferencing, because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Dr Kirkup said they are aware of more cases than previously thought. 

The panel is focusing on the families, but Dr Kirkup took the opportunity on Monday to encourage anyone with concerns about maternity services in East Kent to get in touch.

Next steps will include scrutiny of Trust reports and paperwork, as well as interviews with Trust leaders.

The investigation is expected to conclude next year.