Investigation urges families to share experiences of maternity services at East Kent Hospitals

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Sarah Saunders

An independent investigation into maternity services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust is urging families to come forward and share their experiences.

The investigation was set up to examine the standard of care provided by the maternity and neonatal service at the Trust since 2009.

The investigation is looking at the following:

  • Individual cases where there has been a preventable or avoidable death

  • A concern that the death may have been preventable or avoidable

  • A damaging outcome for the baby or mother

  • Or where there is reason to believe the circumstances shed light on how maternity services were provided or managed or how the Trust responded when things went wrong

  • How the Trust responded to signals that there were problems and sought to learn lessons

  • How the Trust engaged with regulators including the CQC, and actions and responses of regulators and commissioners

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The parents of Harry Richford, who died just a week after being born at the QEQM Hospital in Margate in November 2017, have long called for a public inquiry.

The family were originally told the death was expected, but after their ongoing fight for answers, an inquest was granted.

Harry Richford died just a week after being born at the QEQM in Margate. Credit: Family handout

The coroner ruled Harry's death was in fact "wholly avoidable".

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

Dr Bill Kirkup says he will make arrangements for any families, wishing to share their experience with the investigation, who want to remain anonymous.

If you would like to contact the investigation, Dr Bill Kirkup's team are available by or by calling 01233 227709.