Hospital trust ‘apologises unreservedly’ following preventable death of newborn

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The hospital trust where a newborn died 27 minutes after birth has said it will “continually improve” to ensure high-quality maternity care for families in east Kent.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust is currently subject to an independent review carried out by Dr Bill Kirkup, who led the inquiry into serious maternity failings at Morecambe Bay.

It is investigating preventable and avoidable deaths of newborns, including Archie, to ensure the trust learns lessons from each case and is putting in place appropriate processes to safeguard families.

Tracey Fletcher, chief executive of East Kent Hospitals – which runs the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, said: “On behalf of the Trust, I apologise unreservedly to Archie’s parents and family for Archie’s death.

“We fully accept the coroner’s findings and conclusion today and we are deeply sorry for the failings in the care provided to Archie and his family in September 2019.

“We have made – and continue to make – changes and improvements to the quality and safety of our maternity service.

“Since Archie’s death, we have made changes to how we care for women and babies during a homebirth, and to how we provide the service when the hospital maternity units are busy.

“The lessons from Archie’s death, and the findings of the independent investigation into our maternity service being led by Dr Bill Kirkup, will be built into our continued improvement, to ensure we provide high-quality maternity care for families in East Kent.”

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