Maternity unit deaths apology by Queen's Hospital

Tebussum Ali, also known as Sareena Ali
Image caption Sareena Ali and her baby died in January

A hospital trust boss has apologised for failings in the care given to two maternity patients who died.

An external review into Violet Stephens' death at Queen's Hospital in Romford, east London, in April revealed a succession of failures in her care.

Trust chief executive Averil Dongworth said Ms Stephens and Tebussum Ali, who died in January, did not receive the care they were entitled to.

The trust is facing legal action by 12 women and families over maternity care.

According to the independent report, Ms Stephens was admitted with pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition in pregnant women.

It found there was a failure to administer a blood transfusion as planned and a delay in making the decision to deliver her baby.

It also revealed that when she was found unresponsive with gasping breath it took 25 minutes for a cardiac arrest call to be made.

Ruptured womb

The report, commissioned by the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, also examined the death of Tebussum Ali, known as Sareena, who died along with her newborn baby.

Staff had failed to spot signs of her ruptured womb and tried to resuscitate her with a disconnected oxygen mask.

The trust's chief executive said: "Our hospitals deliver nearly 10,000 babies each year and it is our highest priority to ensure each woman receives the highest standard of care.

"I am so sorry that both Violet Stephens and Sareena Ali did not receive the standard of care they were entitled to expect.

"I am determined to address problems we identified in their care so that other women can be confident about our maternity service in the future."

In order to improve its maternity service she said they had recruited an extra 72 midwives this year and improved staff support and training.

It is understood 12 women or their families are taking legal action against the trust.

A review of maternity services at the hospital by the Care Quality Commission is due to report back in the next few weeks.

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