Staff at Kent NHS trust warned of ‘harrowing report’ into preventable baby deaths | UK News

The chief executive of an NHS trust at the center of a maternity scandal, where at least seven preventable infant deaths have been reported, has warned staff to prepare for a ” painful report” of what happened.

In an email seen by Sky News, the chief executive of East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tracey Fletcher, told his staff to expect an “upsetting report that will have a profound impact” and significantly to family and co-workers, especially those working in maternity services”.

An independent investigation into the trust, which spans more than a decade, will be published next week and is expected to expose a catalog of serious failures.

It is also thought that avoidable infant deaths have occurred because recommendations made following reports of other NHS maternity scandals were not followed.

The East Kent review was conducted by obstetrician-gynecologist Bill Kirkup, who also chaired the Inquiry into the maternal and newborn deaths in Morecambe in 2015.

Reporting was delayed following the Queen’s death, prolonging grief for grieving parents who were desperate to know the truth about their child’s death.

Dawn Powell’s infant son, Archie, passed away in February 2019 at just 4 days old.

In an emotional interview, Ms. Powell told Sky News she would never get over the loss of her son, who would be alive today if she or Archie were given the usual antibiotics. .

“For families like ours, where your child has been taken away, you will forever have a hole in your life that you will never mend,” Ms. Powell said.

Archie and his twin sister Evalene were born at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Queen Mother in Margate, Kent.

Archie fell ill shortly after giving birth. The doctors who treated him did not find out he was suffering from a common infection, group B strep, despite exhibiting all the symptoms.

His mother said: “We now know that it’s completely avoidable, that people don’t recognize the signs, common signs that any trained nurse, midwife and doctor will detect through whining, inability to maintain body temperature, irritability, and other factors. .

Archie and his twin sister Evalene
Archie and his twin sister Evalene

Archie was eventually taken to St Thomas’ hospital in London to be cared for by specialists. But the delay in treating his infection caused severe brain damage, leading to multiple organ failure.

“I sat next to him and held his hand, and he was actually opening his eyes. I was talking to him and just felt the lightest squeeze of my fingers. But then from that day on, they said he She never opened her eyes again,” Mrs. Powell said.

“Having gone through his life without life support, our daughters helped him make his hand and foot prints because it was the only thing we had left.

“It was just me and my husband in the room when they finally took away the last bit of support for him and then I hugged him as he went.”

Dawn Powell says Archie's death & # 39;  completely avoidable & # 39;
Dawn Powell says Archie’s death was ‘totally avoidable’

Ms. Powell added: “I had a lot of guilt from the beginning because I think it was partly my fault what happened because I was a carrier of the group B bacteria he had. for the first time and I always had a lot of guilt, but that only evolved into anger towards people who didn’t do their job.

“They put us in this situation for the rest of our lives.”

The Kirkup Report will be released on Wednesday, October 19.


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