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Concerns raised over reports of unreported baby deaths at East Kent NHS Trust

Healthcare lawyer Suzanne White has voiced serious concerns following a report that baby deaths were not reported to the coroner by the East Kent NHS Trust.

Posted on 24 August 2020

It has been reported in the national press that a Freedom of Information request shows that  124 babies have died in the care of the trust over the past seven years, but only 24 of the deaths were reported to the coroner, even though they were “sudden and unexplained”.

East Kent NHS Trust is already subject to an independent inquiry into its maternity services after it came to light that 15 babies had died in its care in potentially avoidable circumstances since 2011.

It will also be scrutinised as part of a Parliamentary inquiry into maternity care announced by chairman of the Health Scrutiny Committee, former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in July 2020.

The latest news reported about the East Kent Trust has raised fears that the cases echo that of those at Gosport Hospital where three inquiries were held into 450 deaths.

Leigh Day partner Suzanne White said:

“At Gosport, one of the key features was that sudden, unexplained deaths were found not to have been reported to the coroner for investigation. My fear is that we might be seeing the similar lack of proper procedure being displayed at East Kent NHS Trust.

“I have already called for a full public inquiry into poor maternity care at East Kent and Shrewsbury hospitals and I repeat that call here. Families cannot go on seeing instances of poor care trickle out in the news like this. There needs to be a full, serious investigation so that families get the answers they need.”