Police investigate baby deaths at Chester Hospital

Cheshire Police has launched an investigation into the review of neonatal services at The Countess of Chester Hospital following the deaths of a number of babies.

The news comes after the hospital published the findings from an independent, clinical review into neonatal services at the Countess carried out by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. This report pointed to 24 recommendations for improvement which the hospital has assured are now underway.

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and its doctors have maintained concerns about the unexplained deaths and are ‘keen to understand that everything possible has been done to help determine the causes of death in the neonatal unit between June 2015 and June 2016’.

Cheshire Police will seek assurances that enable the hospital to rule out unnatural causes of death.

Ian Harvey, Countess of Chester Hospital Medical Director, said: “We are deeply sorry for the further distress and heartache this will cause. Throughout this we have never lost sight of the families left bereaved by the loss of their baby, and they will continue to be our main concern.

“At every point where the hospital has been able to share information with families and the public, we have done so. Approaching the police is not something we have undertaken lightly. This is to ensure we have been completely thorough in understanding what has happened here and to get the answers we and the families so desperately want.”

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