Shoosmiths are hoping the release of the long-awaited Ockenden report will bring “much-needed answers” to its clients and help secure “safer maternity care for all”.
Kashmir Uppal, medical negligence specialist partner in Shoosmiths’ clinical negligence team, was speaking ahead of the release of the report tomorrow, which marks the end of the official investigation examining the care that 1,862 families received at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
Ockenden was commissioned in April 2017 by the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to investigate the deaths of 23 babies and mothers, allegedly because of poor care at the trust, where maternity care has been the subject of no fewer than six separate inquiries, including one by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
In what has been dubbed as “the largest maternity scandal of all time”, over twenty years, babies that should have been born healthy suffered permanent harm or died.
Kashmir Uppal said today: “We are looking forward to the report and the full implementation of its recommendations to secure safer maternity care, which is not target driven, for all women and babies across the UK.
“We hope that the reports’ findings will deliver some much-needed answers to our clients, who have shown the upmost bravery through this long-running investigation, despite suffering heart-breaking pain and intolerable loss.”
Kashmir Uppal has represented several families who lost babies in the scandal, including Kamaljit Uppal. She lost her son in April 2003 because he became trapped during the delivery and was effectively starved of oxygen. The post-mortem report confirmed her baby died as a result of a trapped vaginal breech delivery.
A five-month ultrasound scan had established that the infant was breech, but despite her request for a caesarean section, her delivery plan was not changed. Kamaljit was told nothing by the Trust and was not aware anything untoward had happened until she saw the news of the investigation in the media. Kamaljit was subsequently contacted by the Trust and then turned to Shoosmiths for advice.
The full Ockenden report is expected to be handed down in Parliament tomorrow morning at 11am.
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