A report has revealed babies and mothers died amid major failings at a hospital trust in what is said to be the NHS' worst ever maternity scandal.

A leaked report shows that a "toxic" culture stretching back 40 years was in place when babies and mothers suffered avoidable death.

Children were also left with permanent disability amid substandard care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The interim update report, which has been obtained by The Independent, comes from an independent inquiry ordered by the Government in July 2017.

Donna Ockenden, who wrote the report, said in a statement: "The document referred to in today's coverage appears to be an internal status update as of February 2019.

"This was produced at the request of NHS Improvement and was not meant for publication.

"At the time I listened to the families involved in the maternity review who were very clear they wanted one, single, comprehensive independent report covering all known cases of potentially serious concern within maternity services at the trust.

"My independent review team and I are working hard to achieve this."

Paula Clark, interim chief executive at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: "We have been working, and continue to work, with the independent review into our maternity services.

"On behalf of the trust, I apologise unreservedly to the families who have been affected.

"I would like to reassure all families using our maternity services that we have not been waiting for Donna Ockenden's final report before working to improve our services. A lot has already been done to address the issues raised by previous cases.

"Our focus is to make our maternity service the safest it can be. We still have further to go but are seeing some positive outcomes from the work we have done to date.

"We have not seen or been made aware of any interim report, and await the findings of Donna Ockenden's report so that we can work with families, our communities and NHS England/Improvement to understand and apply all of the learning identified."

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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