Menu & Search

In 2017, the Countess of Chester Hospital, which looks after around 400 babies a year, was called upon to investigate higher than average infant mortality rates at their neonatal ward. A Mothers and Babies: Reducing the Risk Through Audits and Confidential Enquires (MBRRACE-UK) report found that the Countess of Chester Hospital had a neonatal death rate of 1.91 for every 1,000 live births in 2015, and 5.42 extended perinatal deaths (deaths within four weeks). This was higher than any other trusts of a similar size.

Concerns initially led to an independent review by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), and The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) which found evidence of ‘significant gaps in both medical and nursing rotas’, poor decision making, and insufficient staffing on the ward. The Countess of Cheshire Hospital stopped providing care for those born earlier than 32 weeks in July 2016, after the findings.

The Hospital also carried out a number of independent expert medical reviews into the deaths before calling in the police.

In May 2017, the Cheshire Constabulary announced an enquiry into 15 deaths at the hospital’s neonatal unit between the period of June 2015, and June 2016. This was later expanded to 17 deaths, and 15 non-fatal collapses between the period of March 2015 and July 2016.

Ian Harvey, the Countess of Chester Hospital medical director stated; “We are continuing to support Cheshire Police with their ongoing investigation. Asking the police to look into this was not something we did lightly, but we need to do everything we can to understand what has happened here and get the answers we and the families so desperately want.”

The woman who was arrested was described as a “healthcare professional”, but a spokesman for the hospital declined to comment on whether any staff had been suspended, and the woman’s role within the hospital has not been revealed.

Detective Inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the investigation, was quoted as saying that the process was “highly complex and very sensitive” and that officers were doing “everything we possibly can to try and establish in detail what has led to these baby deaths and collapses.”.

“Since the start of our inquiries and as the information gathering process has continued, the scope of the investigation has now widened”.

He added “Parents of all the babies are continuing to be kept fully updated and are being supported throughout the process by specially trained officers. This is an extremely difficult time for all the families and it is important to remember that, at the heart of this, there are a number of bereaved families seeking answers as to what happened to their children.”

The police also stressed that the investigation is still ongoing, and no further information has been given.

We currently act on behalf of babies that received treatment from the Countess of Chester Hospital during the period of time being considered by the Cheshire Constabulary. We are in a position to advise any other families affected by treatment at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

If you would like to speak in confidence please contact us on 01904 556600 or get in touch.

Start Your Claim Today1904556600
Tell us about your case

Just send us a little bit about yourself and your claim and we will respond within 24 hours.


Get In Touch
Latest News

NHS facing huge legal bill to settle clinical negligence claims

According to a recent BBC Freedom of Information request, the NHS is currently facing paying legal costs of £4.3bn to settle all outstanding claims […]

Read More

Warring Great Ormond Street surgeons put children’s safety at risk

Young patient’s treatment is being compromised after recent reports came to light over two surgeons warring against one another. The surgical urology team which […]

Read More

Cosmetic Surgeon suspended following a finding of professional misconduct

Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Ashish Dutta was given a nine month suspension by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal following a hearing which found him to have […]

Read More

Take a look back through our complete news archive

Follow us on Twitter

Today is Data Privacy Day: The day where people from around the world help you to keep your data secure and private.

Here at Pryers, we make sure all of our colleagues are trained to the fullest when it comes to Data Protection.

#DataProtectionDay

Did you know you could of fractured a bone without even knowing?

Here's what you need to do if you've fractured or broken your scaphoid bone: http://bit.ly/3aPaM62

Load More...