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East Kent Hospitals: “This cannot go on,” says doctor who found that babies could have survived with standard care

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 20 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2520
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Suboptimal maternity care at two hospitals in Kent led to death or injury for dozens of babies and mothers and caused “incalculable” damage to families, a damning independent report has concluded.1

The investigation into maternity services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust found that 45 babies, of 65 cases examined, might not have died if care had been given to the national standard. With standard care the outcome could have been different in 12 of 17 cases of brain damage, it found. And in cases of maternal injuries and deaths the outcome could have been different with standard care in 23 of 32 cases examined.

The East Kent report, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, outlines “how those responsible for the provision of maternity services failed to ensure the safety of women and babies, leading to repeated suboptimal care and poor …

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