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Panorama examines the Ockenden Inquiry in hard-hitting documentary tonight

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“The largest maternity scandal in NHS history” comes under the spotlight tonight in a primetime TV investigation.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is at the centre of the largest inquiry in the history of the NHS into maternity care, which is expected to report next month. 

In Maternity Scandal: Fighting for the Truth, BBC Panorama looks at the Ockenden Inquiry, the official investigation which is examining the care that 1,862 families received at the trust. Over twenty years, babies that should have been born healthy suffered permanent harm or died due to poor maternity care. 

Kashmir Uppal, medical negligence specialist partner in our clinical negligence team, has represented some of the women affected in the investigation.

She said today: The trauma and pain suffered by our clients, such as Kamaljit, (who is featured in the Panorama programme), is heart-breaking and intolerable. If the Trust had listened to the concerns raised by pregnant women and not forced them into a birth process which was dangerous for both mother and baby, the lives of many babies could have been saved. It is extremely concerning that the Trust sought to avoid caesarean sections simply to meet targets.

Ockenden was commissioned in April 2017 by the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to look into the deaths of 23 babies and mothers, allegedly as a result of poor care, at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. Maternity care at the Trust in recent years has been the subject of no fewer than six separate inquiries, including one by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Her report is expected to be concluded by March 24.

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This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2022

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