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Maternity Services: East Kent

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:06 am on 13th February 2020.

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Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet 11:06 am, 13th February 2020

I will try hard not to abuse your generosity, Mr Speaker, and on behalf of Tom and Sarah Richford I thank you for allowing me to ask this desperately sad and desperately urgent question. I also thank the Minister for her swift and robust action since the report landed on her desk on Monday night, which was based largely on her personal professional experience. I am deeply grateful, and I know that the families are too.

This morning, at an early hour, I spoke for half an hour with a husband and wife who now live in Australia. Two months after the death of Harry Richford, they lost their own child under similarly tragic circumstances, and it was the most harrowing call I have taken in 36 years in this House. Those parents deserve and need the opportunity to achieve closure and move forward, and they need to know that the failures in protocol, in clinical judgment, and in management, have been addressed.

Will my hon. Friend publish the Care Quality Commission report to which she referred as soon as possible? Will she seriously consider establishing an independent inquiry, so that at the very least, Harry Richford’s parents, Rosie’s parents, and others, will know that their children have not died in vain, and that this will never, ever, happen again?