The arrest of a female healthcare professional on suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to kill six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital is a significant and troubling development in what has been a highly sensitive and complex investigation.
Our concerns about the Countess of Chester Hospital were first raised in a previous article following a review into infant deaths at the neonatal unit by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in February 2017 which could find no ‘definitive explanation’ for the increased mortality rates.
An earlier inspection by the Care Quality Commission in 2016 found that staff levels ‘did not meet standards recommended by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine’ and criticised a lack of effective infection control.
‘It remains to be seen if the same basic errors that took place at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust were repeated at the Countess of Chester Hospital. We have a great deal of experience in helping grieving parents whose infants have been injured or worse through negligent as well as criminal acts.’
Phil Barnes, Shoosmiths national head of the medical negligence team said:
‘Whatever the police investigation reveals, irrespective of whether these tragedies were the result of systemic failures or individual action, the terrible impact of the loss of a child on the families affected is devastating. Hopefully the investigation will establish what happened and how it happened and any issues identified are acted upon across the healthcare service to prevent future tragedies.’
If anyone has concerns about the issues at the Countess of Chester Hospital, please contact us on 03700 868 686 for confidential free advice from our team of specialist solicitors.
Click here and listen to partner Kashmir Uppal's comments on the Nick Ferrari show on LBC Radio.
Pictured above: Kashmir Uppal, award winning medical negligence partner at Shoosmiths.