Ayrshire maternity review asks for more families’ stories

The review team has urged more families to come forward (photo: Tony Marsh)
The review team has urged more families to come forward (photo: Tony Marsh)
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No families have been excluded from the review into adverse events at a maternity unit where some babies died, a health watchdog has said.

The Scottish Government ordered Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to carry out the review last year after two families whose babies died during childbirth at Ayrshire Maternity Unit spoke out about their experiences.

Between 2008 and March 31 last year, there were four significant adverse event reviews concerning stillbirth deaths at the unit at Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire.

The BBC found there have been six so-called ‘’unnecessary’’ deaths of babies at the hospital since 2008.

The review is formally examining the management of adverse events since December 2013 onwards but has extended an open invitation to anyone with experiences of the unit, including before that date.

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Claire Sweeney, interim director of quality assurance at HIS, said: “We are currently undertaking a review into adverse events taking place at Ayrshire Maternity Unit within University Hospital Crosshouse.

“The review is formally looking at the management of adverse events from December 2013 onwards.

“However, the review team had extended an open invitation to any members of the public who wanted to share their experiences of Ayrshire Maternity Unit.

“The team has met with a number of families, including some who had experiences at Crosshouse prior to December 2013.

“No families have been excluded from the review. We have spoken to all families who wanted to speak to us to share their experiences.

“Their important views have helped us understand the issues that need to be considered as we review the service and they will be included in the final report.

“This will make sure that the report and recommendations help to improve the care that people receive.

“We sympathise with the experiences of the families concerned and we have been very grateful to these families that they felt able to share these obviously painful experiences with us. We will publish our findings as soon as possible.”

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Among the deaths were Denise and Steven Campbell’s son Joseph, who died during childbirth at the unit in 2012.

June and Fraser Morton’s son Lucas died there in November 2015.

In an interview last year, Mr Morton told the BBC: ‘’Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.

“I believe they were understaffed and overworked. They didn’t have the training knowledge and experience, and I believe that comes back to management issues.

‘’If mistakes had not been made, the difference is quite simple. Lucas would have been here.”

NHS Ayrshire and Arran has apologised for any ‘’failings they experienced during their time with us’’.