Royal Oldham Hospital baby death to be reviewed

Thomas Beaty Image copyright Martin and Hannah Beaty
Image caption Thomas Beaty died a day after he was born at Royal Oldham Hospital

The death of a baby born at the Royal Oldham Hospital is to be independently investigated after a hospital trust referred itself for external review.

Thomas Beaty was one of seven babies who died at the hospital and North Manchester General Hospital.

Pennine Acute NHS Trust (PAT) has ordered the independent inquiry into Thomas' death following concerns raised at his inquest last week.

He and the other six babies all died between December 2013 and last July.

The investigation into his death comes after PAT ordered a previous independent inquiry into the deaths of the other babies, as well as those of three mothers.

Thomas's parents believe he would still be alive "if it were not for the actions of Royal Oldham Hospital".

He suffered severe head injuries after five attempts were made to deliver him using forceps.

Health complications

National guidelines recommend no more than three attempts.

In a statement released through their lawyers Slater and Gordon, Martin and Hannah Beaty said: "The treatment we received was unacceptable and we have to live with what happened for the rest of our lives".

"There needs to be an independent investigation and there needs to be lasting change, so there is transparency and accountability at every stage."

The trust's Chief Nurse Gill Harris said the hospitals were keen "to improve care" and stressed every death of a baby or mother is reviewed.

The previous inquiry, concluded in January, indicated the deaths of the six babies and three mothers did "not appear to be the result of deficiencies in care" and that the women had health complications.

The report noted there were "clearly areas of good practice" but, in some cases, risk management during the antenatal period and in labour was "below standard".

'Reassure families'

There had been a "notable absence of clinical leadership in both medical and midwifery teams, resulting in a failure to adequately plan care", the review added.

Chief nurse Gill Harris said the hospitals were planning improvements as a result of the report.

She said: "We deliver 10,000 babies each year and would like to reassure families about the safety of maternity services at our hospitals, but if any expectant mother has a concern they can contact their designated midwife to discuss this."

The independent review into Thomas's death is ongoing and will report at a later date.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it was "in close liaison with the trust, NHS England and local Clinical Commissioning Groups regarding the review findings".

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