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Ockenden Review of Maternity Care: Shrewsbury and Telford

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:31 pm on 15th January 2020.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 6:31 pm, 15th January 2020

I congratulate my hon. Friend on bringing this very, very difficult subject forward. I also thank my right hon. Friend Jeremy Hunt for launching the Ockenden review. It is very easy to talk about numbers, but every one of these cases is unutterably terrible and ghastly for the family concerned, and obviously a total tragedy. We all know dreadful stories from the past. The latest figures show that the infant mortality rate at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is 3.7 per 1,000, against a national average of 3.9 and a national target, which I would like the Minister to comment on, of 2.6 by 2025. My hon. Friend has rightly raised the absolute horrors and the dreadful culture—we all know terrible stories—but does she derive any satisfaction from the fact that we are marginally better than the national average at the moment and possibly heading towards the national target by 2025?