Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Wife Died Because NHS Didn't Act on Three Deaths

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Wife Died Because NHS Didn't Act on Three Deaths

Article excerpt

Byline: Kiran Randhawa Health Correspondent

NHS bosses were today attacked for failing to act after "extraordinary" death rates of women in childbirth at a hospital trust criticised previously for poor standards of care.

Three women died during childbirth last year at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, according to figures obtained by the Standard.

They were all in the care of the maternity departments at King George Hospital in Ilford, and at Queen's Hospital in Romford -- a unit repeatedly criticised for neglecting patients. The family of a fourth pregnant woman who died and whose baby was stillborn at Queen's in January, want an inquiry. Widower Usman Javed said the deaths of his wife Sareena Ali and their first child could have been prevented if hospital chiefs had responded to "failings" in the maternity unit.

The incidents raise serious questions over current reporting procedures in maternity departments across London. A Coalition MP today called for "more transparency and openness" over errors, saying it could save lives.

The hospital has admitted that Mrs Ali, 27, who died of a ruptured womb that triggered cardiac arrest and major organ failure, received unacceptable standards of care, and has admitted liability. Two midwives have been suspended pending inquiries.

There are about eight maternal deaths per 100,000 births in the UK. There were just over 10,000 births at Barking, Havering and Redbridge Trust last year, meaning there were three times more deaths at the trust compared to the national average. In a report earlier this year, the Care Quality Commission NHS watchdog accused the Queen's unit of not "taking all the proper steps" to ensure patient safety. The hospital was told it could face prosecution or part closure if it did not make significant changes. …

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