Report finds evidence of avoidable Perinatal Deaths at Royal Derby Hospital

The Perinatal Institute has published its findings following a review into perinatal deaths at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

A perinatal death concerns babies who died between 28 weeks gestation up to 4 weeks after birth. 

The Institute were asked to look into this matter after a letter was sent to the Chief Nurse for NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group which raised concerns about a number of serious events that had taken place in the Maternity Unit at the Royal Derby Hospital.  This letter was sent in accordance with the “Raising concerns at Work (Whistleblowing) Policy” and an investigation was undertaken.  The results showed that the outcomes for the Trust were worse than the average, so a further detailed review was recommended, and that was undertaken by the Perinatal Institute.

The Institute looked at 41 deaths that had happened between April 2013 and March 2016.

Sadly, significant failings have been identified in the care that a number of those families received.  A picture emerged which suggested there were common areas where the Trust were routinely failing. In particular, there was a repeated failure to recognise Fetal Growth Restriction.

They found in 19 of the cases that the outcome may have been better if the care had been of an appropriate standard.

The Trust has apologised and says they are committed to improving so they can ensure families receive high quality maternity care.  The report identified a number of areas where care was good, and it also showed that there was evidence that changes had already been made as a result of the Institute’s findings. 

That is too late for the families affected by this report, and there are no doubt others who have seen the reports and have concerns about issues they have had with their care. But hopefully it will reassure families who are in the care of the hospital today.

If you would like to read the full report, it is available through the Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website.

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