Fifteen babies and three mothers have needlessly died at an NHS Trust in the past decade.
Staff errors including failure to measure babies’ heart rates and spot vital signs of infection are thought to be to blame.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered an investigation into each of the deaths that occurred at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, but refused to launch a public inquiry.
This comes 14 months after a report found the Trust’s two hospitals were among the 21 nationwide with an infant mortality rate more than 10 per cent higher than the average.
Simon Wright, chief executive, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: ‘The death of a baby is the most tragic event imaginable and we again apologise unreservedly to the families involved.’
The NHS Trust may be responsible for thedeath of 15 babies and three mothers in just 10 years
An investigation is also underway into the Trust’s 10 near fatalities where patients suffered harm.
Rhiannon Stanton-Davies’ daughter Kate passed away at the Trust in 2009 and she claims it has not learned from its past failures.
She said: ‘It’s shocking that babies have continued to die needlessly despite everything the trust said it learned since Kate’s death. You can’t put this massive tragedy down to one thing. It’s not one individual.
‘It is that mistakes continue to happen, nothing is ever learned, and so more babies die.
Rhiannon Stanton-Davies’ daughter Kate (pictured) died after staff failed to recognise her Strep B infection despite her mother making urgent calls to the Trust over her symptoms
‘Even when the mistake are obvious, the trust has not learned from them. It’s a toxic culture,’ she told the Mirror.
Kate died after midwives failed to notice Ms Stanton-Davies’ risky pregnancy.
At least four midwives are being investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Trust.
A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We can confirm that we are investigating a number of midwives at the trust.
‘We are keen for our investigation to progress so we can bring it to a conclusion as quickly as possible and avoid any further distress and upset for the family.
‘Protecting the public is our first priority, and we can confirm that we will be meeting with Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust shortly to discuss the next steps of our respective investigations.’
Sadly Kate is not the only baby the Trust has failed in recent years.
Kelly Jones delivered stillborn twins Ella and Lola in September 2014 after repeatedly telling staff she was in pain.
A heartbroken mother whose newborn baby died at the NHS trust at the heart of the ongoing infant death scandal says medics ‘failed’ in their duty.
Pippa Griffiths contracted a fatal infection just hours after she was born at home on April 26 last year, an inquest earlier this month heard.
Midwives at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital failed to visit afterwards nor offer her mother, Kayleigh, 30, any advice.
Staff from the trust that runs the hospital eventually visited the family, but they insisted that her death was unavoidable.
Pippa Griffiths contracted a fatal infection just hours after she was born at home on April 26 last year, an inquest earlier this month heard
But had midwives noticed Pippa had Group B Strep earlier – which can lead to blood poisoning and meningitis, she may still be alive today, a coroner ruled.
We expected better from the NHS. But Pippa was failedKayleigh Griffiths, 30
In an exclusive interview with The Mirror, Mrs Griffiths and Pippa’s father Colin, 40, revealed their agony – and accused the trust of a cover-up.
Mrs Griffiths, an NHS auditor, said: ‘We expected better from the NHS. But Pippa was failed.’
The newspaper reported how Mrs Griffiths initially sought medical advice from the trust when Pippa’s breathing changed.
After noticing her daughter’s vomit was brown, at 2.55am she was told by a midwife over the phone that it was nothing to worry about.
Mrs Griffiths (pictured) claims her daughter’s medical records did not mention Pippa’s symptoms, which she called the Trust concerned about, including her brown vomit
Pippa’s skin later turned purple and she stopped breathing completely. She was airlifted to hospital where she died later that afternoon at 4.09pm.
Mrs Griffiths said her daughter’s medical records had not mentioned the initial concerns they rang about.
Simon Wright, chief executive of the NHS Trust, said: ‘We are truly sorry that we did not provide the appropriate care that would have prevented Pippa’s death.
‘We have apologised to Pippa’s parents and are continuing to improve services and our investigations to ensure we learn from these devastating events.
‘The Trust accepts that, if a complete systematic inquiry about neonatal health had taken place during the very first telephone contact, when concerns were raised about Pippa’s feeding, it is more than likely that signs of neonatal ill health would have been identified and Pippa’s parents would have been signposted to appropriate health care professionals, providing the opportunity of earlier diagnosis and treatment.
‘The Trust also accepted that if Pippa’s parents had been given appropriate literature before or immediately following their daughter’s birth, they would have had access to information on the signs of neonatal ill health when these developed to help them seek the appropriate advice and help.’
Ms Jones, from Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, said she was ignored and became so worriedsheattempted to discharge herself from the Royal Shrewsbury.
Ms Jones told BBC News: ‘The midwife came in crying, saying I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. My girls are gone because they couldn’t be bothered doing their job.’
An investigation revealed both babies died from oxygen starvation to the brain ‘contributed to by delay in recognising deterioration in the foetal heart traces and the missed opportunities for earlier delivery’.
In a letter to Ms Jones nine months after the twins’ deaths, the Trust promised to improve the monitoring of baby’s heart rates.
Jenson Christopher Barnett (pictured with his parents Kate and Andrew) died after suffering brain damage in a botched forceps delivery in 2013
Jenson Christopher Barnett – 2013. Died after suffering brain damage in a botched forceps delivery. Coroner said he should have had a caesarean.
Ella and Lola Greene – 2014. Stillborn twins after the Trust failed to properly read and interpret their heart rates.
Oliver Smale – 2015. Coroner said he would have survived if delivered earlier by caesarean section.
Kye Hall – 2015. His death was ’caused or contributed’ to by the Trust, said the coroner, which failed to classify his mother as a high-risk pregnancy or listen to his heart beat.
Graham Scott Holmes-Smith – 2015. Died after a failure to properly monitor heart rate.
Ivy Morris – 2016. Ivy was born ten days after Graham but died four months later. The coroner ruled her death could have been prevented if appropriate monitoring of her heart rate had taken place during labour.
Pippa Griffiths – 2016. An inquest concluded an infection should have been spotted earlier.
Jack Stephen Burn – 2015. Died within days of Oliver Smale from group B Streptococcus infection.
Sophiya Hotchkiss – 2014. The family said no investigation was carried out.
Yet, just two months later, Kye Hall died at the Princess Royal Hospital aged just four days after staff failed to listen to his heart rate at two critical times.
A monitor used in hospitals, called a cardiotocograph, indicates how the foetal heart rate is responding to the stress caused by the mother’s contractions.
The Trust says improvements havebeen made andmortality rates are now similar to the national average.
Dr Edwin Borman, medical director at the Trust, said: ‘In the case of foetal heart rate monitoring, we have identified a number of cases where learning has not been fully implemented. We’ve put systems in place to make improvements.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘The Health Secretary asked NHS regulators to undertake an investigation in light of disclosures that in a number of tragic cases standards of care fell far below those that parents would expect.’