It is really important to us that Harry's death and the huge sacrifices made by Sarah, Tom and the wider family have led to long term change all over the NHS. Here we want to highlight key things that we believe would not have happened if Harry had not been born and the family hadn't demanded the truth.
In his 7 days on this planet, Harry has changed the world of maternity care here in East Kent and beyond in a really positive way.
East Kent has turned into the 2nd biggest maternity scandal in UK history with Shrewsbury being the first. Without our Harry, these gross failings and cover ups would have continued as they had before. There will be families who we have helped who will never know that they could have been a victim of these issues.
The Kirkup Inquiry. The Kirkup team will report by Autumn 2022 and will, we have no doubt, make the most disturbing findings of poor practice and cover up in maternity services. Once these gross failings are exposed to public and media scrutiny the East Kent Hospitals Trust can never go back to what it was.
CQC Criminal Prosecution. The first ever criminal prosecution of an NHS Trust for unsafe care and treatment in a clinical sense will, we feel sure be a mark for this Trust and the entire NHS that such appalling care will not be tolerated again. On April 19th 2021 the Trust entered a plea of guilty for unsafe care and treatment of Sarah and Harry. We hope this will mean that other Trusts will look VERY closely before allowing maternity services to deteriorate so badly.
RCOG Locum Passport. The RCOG have carried out major work on locum employment and have confirmed that Harry's Inquest was a key driver in this work. The initial policy work is HERE and in due course details of the "Locum Passport" will be published that will give policy on locum experience and supervision.
Panorama. We were able to tell Harry's story on BBC's highly influential Panorama. Being able to show the circumstances surrounding Harry's birth and death on this platform has helped to ensure that Maternity services, not only East Kent but the wider NHS are front of mind for government and NHS leaders. Link to Panorama
Harry's Law. We are calling for Harry's Law. This new law would require that all Royal College reports are published to the regulator on the same day they are published to the Trust. 90 days later, these reports must then be made public for scrutiny by the public and media. We have made good progress and look forward to a parliamentary announcement in due course.
Baby Death Reduction. Since Harry's inquest and the furore that followed when an expert maternity team were sent to the Trust, Neonatal deaths have fallen by 55% compared to the previous 7 year average and still births by 20% (see below). This demonstrates clearly how the correct focus, leadership and procedures will save babies lives. Had the Trust followed the RCOG audit diligently in early 2016 over 40 babies lives could have been saved in the first 4 years.
PHSO Complaint Handling. Harry's story has led to a great level of reflection within the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman service, regarding how they deal with complaints of this nature. Harry's grandfather was able to speak directly to the Ombudsman, Rob Behrens CBE to describe how PHSO had failed our family. This should lead to important changes and improvements.
CQC Inspections. After we forced Harry's story into the spotlight, the CQC have put a new emphasis on maternity department inspections. In one case in June 2021 it was announced that a Trust in the Shelford Group had, following an unannounced inspection, been moved from Outstanding to Inadequate. In another in Colchester another "Inadequate" rating has been reported. This new emphasis will make maternity services safer for all.