A TOP NHS trust has been accused of covering up the suspicious deaths of babies and even suggestion mums were themselves to blame.
Some 124 infants died in seven years but East Kent Hospitals University Trust but only 24 of these deaths were reported even though they were sudden and unexplained.
Harry Richford and his parents Sarah and Tom[/caption]
Little Harry died after a badly bungled badly bungled caesarean delivery[/caption]
Coroners should be told of sudden and unexplained deaths and around 45 per cent of all deaths are referred on for an initial investigation.
East Kent has revealed in another freedom of information response that just 11 of its 93 stillbirths and newborn deaths over the past two years led to a “serious incident” investigation.
Some staff suggested mums themselves were to blame for the tragedies, either by contracting infections which they passed to their babies or through refusing treatment, the Daily Mail reports.
The extent of failings at East Kent were revealed by the death of Harry Richford what a coroner called what the coroner called “wholly avoidable” circumstances.
Little Harry died at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate after his badly bungled caesarean delivery in 2017.
An emergency caesarean section was performed too late and by an inexperienced locum doctor who had not been assessed by the trust.
Another doctor delayed resuscitating Harry, who died from irreversible brain damage seven days later.
The trust initially refused to refer Harry’s death to the coroner but his granddad Derek Richford did so in March 2018, fearing staff were trying to cover up mistakes.
An investigation is currently underway into the deaths[/caption]
“Since Harry died we have found that the trust have done everything in their power to avoid scrutiny,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I still can’t fully decide if this was a matter of gross incompetence or a conspiracy to cover failings.’
Kirsty Stead, 23, accused the trust’s staff of not “telling the truth” about the death of her son Reid Andrew Shaw.
She was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital at 37 weeks experiencing severe stomach and back pain, as well as excessive movement but was sent home.
The day before her due date, she phoned the maternity ward to complain of pain.
She was finally told to come in but once she arrived staff were unable to locate a heartbeat and she was told her baby had died.
“I was told initially he’d died because the cord was wrapped around him,” she said.
“But the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch report says it was the infection that killed him. So someone wasn’t telling the truth at the start.
“I’m angry, very angry. Not for me but for my son. He had no chance.”
A spokesman for East Kent Hospitals said it “welcomed” an investigation that’s currently underway.
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“We recognise that we have not always provided the right standard of care for every woman and baby in our hospitals and we wholeheartedly apologise to families for whom we could have done thing differently.
“We are treating the concerns raised about the safety of the service with the utmost seriousness and urgency.
“We have made significant changes to maternity care and we will not rest until we are delivering an outstanding maternity service that has the full confidence of all families in east Kent.”