A SHROPSHIRE law firm says the 'harrowing' details of failings in maternity care at Shropshire’s two main hospitals revealed by a BBC investigation are proof that action is needed.

That is according to clinical negligence specialists at Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors who were involved with the Panorama programme about tyhe Ockenden Review into maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH), which aired on BBC One this week.

Beth Heath, head of Lanyon Bowdler’s clinical negligence team, said the firm was currently investigating nearly 100 cases of potential failings at SaTH.

She said: “We feel very strongly, both from a professional and personal point of view, as Shropshire residents, that serious issues at our hospital trust have still not been adequately addressed.

"There has been far too much tragedy and there is still so much grief in our local community.

“The Panorama programme was powerful and moving.

"All the families involved were so brave to have shared so openly.

"I have no doubt that the programme would have been extremely difficult for the many families who have been directly affected by the failings in maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals.

“We recently established a specialist team dedicated to working with families who feel they did not receive an acceptable standard of care, and we are currently actively working on nearly 100 cases."

Beth added that there were a there are a number of recurring themes in the programme, such as failures in monitoring the baby’s heart rate, failing to err on the side of caution, as well as mothers not been listened to and their requests for C-sections being ignored or denied.

She added: “Senior doctors are not involved enough, and many cases relate to poor communication between midwives, junior doctors and consultants.

"It was particularly interesting to hear the views of retired consultant Bernie Bentick, who highlighted the poor culture within the trust.

“The attitude at times of the trust has been abhorrent – blaming mothers for the loss or injury to their child. The guilt that these women have then carried with them as a result is unimaginable.

“The changes required to maternity services at this trust are numerous and must be meaningful and sustained. The problems have persisted for so many years that making such changes will take time."