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Kent hospital trust being prosecuted over baby death

Written by on 9 October 2020

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust is being prosecuted over
the death of baby Harry Richford in 2017, the Care Quality Commission says.

In a statement, the CQC said: “The trust is charged with exposing Harry Richford and his mother Sarah Richford to significant risk of avoidable harm.

“Baby Harry tragically died on the 9 November 2017, seven days after he was born on the 2 November.

Image:
Sarah and Tom Richford outside Maidstone Coroner’s Court in January after the conclusion of the inquest into the death of their son.

“The CQC is unable to comment further at this time due to legal restrictions.”

Harry Richford’s family welcomed decision.

In a statement, they said: “We are pleased that the CQC have made the landmark decision in making a criminal prosecution of the East Kent Hospitals Trust regarding the unsafe care and treatment of Sarah and Harry Richford.

“It will now be for the courts to hear all of the evidence that the CQC and our family have amassed over the last three years and to decide whether the clinical care and treatment offered at that time could be considered safe.

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“Or whether there was a criminal breach of the duty of care that was clearly owed to both Sarah and Harry at their most vulnerable time.

Harry Richford’s family welcomed the prosecution of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust over his death.

Undated handout file photo of Sarah and Tom Richford with their son Harry who died seven days after he was born in November 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Hospital in Margate. The tragic death of the baby must lead to "lasting change" and safe maternity care, Harry's grandfather has said.
Image:
Baby Harry died seven days after he was born in November 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Hospital in Margate.

In a statement, they said: “We are pleased that the CQC have made the landmark decision in making a criminal prosecution of the East Kent Hospitals Trust regarding the unsafe care and treatment of Sarah and Harry Richford.

“It will now be for the courts to hear all of the evidence that the CQC and our family have amassed over the last three years and to decide whether the clinical care and treatment offered at that time could be considered safe; or whether there was a criminal breach of the duty of care that was clearly owed to both Sarah and Harry at their most vulnerable time.

“In the meantime, the Kirkup Inquiry will carry on their work looking into the way maternity services were delivered since 2009 for all families affected, with the aim of finding the truth and ensuring these circumstances cannot be repeated.

“We would encourage anyone with any kind of maternity issue in East Kent since 2009 to make contact with the inquiry to share their story.

“Our family have been in the spotlight for nearly three years; now is our time to pass the responsibility of finding the truth and ensuring lasting change in East Kent to The CQC, the courts, Bill Kirkup and indeed the government. With this in mind we would ask for our privacy to be respected at this time.”