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Two Deaths in NHS Maternity Unit Prompt Review and Legal Action

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Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, is at the centre of an investigation after two women died not long after giving birth in the maternity unit there. The first woman, Sareena Ali, died there in January after having a heart attack brought on by a rupture in her womb. The second woman, Violet Stephens, died in April. This death occurred a month after a review into the services provided in the maternity unit. The review stated that essential standards were not being met.

There are reports that a total of twelve women or members of their families are in the midst of taking legal action against the NHS Trust of which Queen’s Hospital is a part.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (otherwise known as CQC) visited the hospital to conduct an inspection. They found that six safety standards were failed and this was indicated in their report. The chief executive of the hospital, Averil Dongworth, has apologised for the deaths, and said “I am determined to address problems we identified in their care.” She went on to say that other women could then be confident in the services given in the maternity unit in the future.

An investigation has been arranged by the hospital so lessons can be learned from the deaths. Seventy two more midwives have already been recruited at the hospital, and additional guidelines are also now in place to ensure that the hospital can provide better and more consistent care in future.

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