Doctors in the UK who saw but did not report babies and mothers receiving poor care during the National Health Service's worst maternity scandal could be suspended or struck off, the General Medical Council (GMC) has warned. According to a report in The Guardian, the medical profession’s regulator has asked NHS bosses for details of any doctor they believe may have ignored their professional duty to raise the alarm about threats to patient safety at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust (SaTH).
The report says the GMC has raised the spectre of doctors being disciplined after it emerged on that a government-ordered independent investigation found that at least 42 babies and three mothers died at the trust in cases linked to poor care between 1979 and 2017.
Meanwhile, the body representing Britain’s 8,000 doctors specialising in childbirth has hit out at the trust for delaying publication of its inquiry into maternity care. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has criticised SaTH for taking seven months to put into the public domain the report it had asked the college to draw up. It held off sharing the RCOG’s findings despite longstanding public concern about babies having died or suffering terrible injuries, including brain damage.
The report says in a separate development, the Royal College of Midwives responded to the leaked findings of Ockenden’s inquiry but did not comment on the countless failings by maternity staff, including midwives, that were identified. Its statement said: “The RCM is committed to improving safety within our maternity services and when the full review’s findings are published there will be important lessons to be learned by the NHS and by maternity services across the UK.”
It will respond to the failings in clinical care when Ockenden’s final report is published, which is expected to be next year.The Guardian report