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Hospital probed over more deaths

15 April, 2008  

A London NHS trust where 10 new mothers died in one maternity unit has launched an investigation into three more deaths.

The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust is reviewing three deaths at the maternity unit of Northwick Park Hospital which occurred between June 2007 and March 2008.

In 2005, the unit was put in special measures after it was revealed that the death rate for new mothers was far higher than the national average, with ten women dying there between April 2002 and April 2005.

The Healthcare Commission found a number of failures contributed to nine of the deaths, including the lack of response to changes in patients’ condition and poor staff communication.

The unit was taken out of special measures in September 2006.

The trust has now begun investigating the latest three deaths and is also carrying out a “broader internal review” of its maternity services”.

Fiona Wise, the trust’s chief executive, added: “Given that it has been 18 months since we were lifted off special measures we feel that it is the right time to undertake a review to re-check our systems and procedures.

“This also gives us the opportunity to review again the three maternal deaths that the trust had during 2007 and 2008.

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North West London Hospitals NHS Trust