CQC recommendations avoid ‘devastating consequences’
23rd January, 2020

Patient Claim Line Assistant Litigation Executive, Lauren Taylor believes NHS Trusts can prevent ‘devastating consequences’ if they follow CQC recommendations. Lauren’s comments are in response to the news at least seven preventable baby deaths ‘may have occurred’ at East Kent NHS Foundation Trust. Lauren said:
“The question we need to ask is what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future? Both Trust and parents alike will want to avoid the devastating consequences.”
Why East Kent NHS Trust’s maternity care is under scrutiny
The trust in question has five hospitals and community clinics and close to 7,000 babies are born there each year. However, East Kent NHS Trust’s baby death rate is reportedly higher than average. As a result, serious questions are emerging around the Trust’s maternity care and management. For example, Harry Richford, born at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, died just one week later in 2017. A post mortem examination revealed a ‘significant delay’ in resuscitation is believed to have cost the child its life. For Lauren, Harry’s case typifies why there is a rigorous investigation into the Trust’s maternity care. She said:
 “It appears significant delays in resuscitating Harry post-delivery ultimately caused his death. Consequently, this is something his parents are never going to get over.” “So, this is a sad and concerning case, however, we must remember this is just one of several cases involving infants.”
Working with the CQC to implement change will reduce further risks
Subsequently, after conducting her own research, Lauren found that an inspection by the Care Quality Commission rated the East Kent Trust’s maternity unit as inadequate in 2014. Since then, subsequent reports show that the rating still requires improvement. The latest report, published in 2018, notes ‘lessons from incidents were not always identified’ and change ‘was not fully implemented.’ Lauren continued:
“I believe the trust needs to be making internal inquiries into why the number of baby deaths is so high. Furthermore, any changes have to implemented. From my experience, birth claims cover a spectrum of different clinical failures. These can be anything from delays in resuscitation and diagnosing group B streptococcus. These failures may be few in number, but high in value among medical negligence claims.”