Five-year investigation to conclude mothers forced to suffer traumatic births because of targets for ‘normal’ births

Three hundred babies died or were left brain-damaged due to inadequate care at an NHS trust, according to reports.

The Sunday Times has reported that a five-year investigation will conclude next week that mothers were denied caesarean sections and forced to suffer traumatic births due to an alleged preoccupation with hitting “normal” birth targets.

The inquiry, which analysed the experiences of 1,500 families at Shrewsbury and Telford hospital trust between 2000 and 2019, found that at least 12 mothers died while giving birth, and some families lost more than one child in separate incidents, the newspaper reported.

Donna Ockenden, an expert midwife who led the inquiry with the input of more than 90 midwives and doctors, said her team had been “shocked and saddened” by the scale of the tragedy.

The Ockenden report is expected to reveal that hundreds of babies were stillborn, died shortly after birth or were left permanently brain-damaged while many had fractured skulls or broken bones, or were left with life-changing disabilities.

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