A one-day old baby died because of failings at an NHS trust just three weeks after NHS bosses insisted maternity services had improved.
Pippa Griffiths was killed by an infection on April 27 last year – after a Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust board meeting was told on April 4 that lessons had been learned from the avoidable death of another baby, Kate Stanton-Davies in 2009.
According to information obtained by the Daily Mirror, chair Prof Peter Latchford said: “We have learned, as a trust, over the last few years, and I hope some of what is said today will go some way to reassuring both Kate’s parents and all of those who place their care in our hands that we have taken important lessons from this tragic incident.”
Prof Latchford was speaking after an independent report highlighted the trust’s poor safety culture and defensive attitude to complaints.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust chief executive Simon Wright also told the meeting that the trust “now operates improved practices”, just a week after he vowed that ‘significant steps’ had been taken.
Pippa’s mother Kayleigh said: “We expected better from the NHS. But Pippa was failed.”
And Kate’s mum Rhiannon added: “When I found out Pippa had died weeks after they had promised improvements had been made, I was devastated because we had been lied to.
“It’s shocking that babies have continued to die needlessly despite everything the trust said it had learned since Kate’s death.
“You can’t put this massive tragedy down to one thing. It is not one individual.
“It is that mistakes continue to happen, nothing is ever learned, and so more babies die. Even when the mistakes are obvious, the trust has not learned from them. It’s a toxic culture.”
In a statement this week, Mr Wright said: “The trust has carried out investigations into every case to ensure lessons can be learned.
“Looking at the case of Pippa, we are truly sorry we did not provide the appropriate care that would have prevented Pippa’s death.”
Mr Wright’s statement came as news that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is being investigated by two national NHS bodies over the deaths of at least 15 babies and three mums in the trust’s care.
It has also been revealed that the trust was warned in 2007 to improve maternity services.
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