A LAW firm which has been acting on behalf of families impacted by the Shropshire maternity scandal says it has received a raft of new enquiries from worried families.

Lanyon Bowdler solicitors said 20 new families have come forward with potential claims against Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust since Wednesday morning.

It currently has about 35 active maternity cases and has dealt with up to 50 cases against the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust over the past 15 years.

But the firm said the number of claims arising has motivated the firm to employ an in-house midwife to assist with investigations.

Kay Kelly, head of clinical negligence at Lanyon Bowdler, said the firm received more than 20 new enquiries on Wednesday morning alone – the day after the news broke about the leaked report into mother and baby deaths at the county’s two main hospitals.

She said: “New enquiries are coming in quickly from other families who have suffered heartbreaking bereavements or life-changing injuries while being cared for by Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals in recent years.

“We have spoken with so many families who have been affected by failings at these hospitals, many of whom have been told by the hospital that lessons have been learned from their loss and tragedy, and yet the evidence of still more cases creates a tragic loss of trust in the community.

“We already feared that the failings had been worse than originally reported, and with every new family who comes forward, the number of clinical negligence cases against the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is likely to grow.”

One of the many cases dealt with by Lanyon Bowdler is Sharon Morris, of Bridgnorth, who gave birth to twins at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in 2005.

Beth Heath, a clinical negligence solicitor at Lanyon Bowdler, said: “The first twin was delivered successfully, but the second twin, Olivia, was not delivered until one hour and 12 minutes later, during which time she was deprived of oxygen, causing brain damage.

“Olivia should have been urgently delivered given the absence of a reassuring heartbeat.

“The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust admitted they were negligent in failing to deliver Olivia earlier, and had she been delivered in a timely manner they admitted she would not have sustained brain damage and would have developed normally.”

Olivia now needs 24-hour care, cannot eat or speak, struggles to walk and has learning and behavioural issues.

The family successfully pursued a clinical negligence case against the hospital trust, with compensation meaning they could move to a specially adapted house to enable Olivia to have her own purpose-built bathroom and other vital facilities.

Sharon said the details of the leaked report into the failings in maternity care were all too familiar.

“It’s heartbreaking, but the contents of this report came as no surprise to be honest,” she said.

“We went through our clinical negligence case because we wanted to secure Olivia’s future, and we needed compensation to be able to give Olivia the best life we could.

“No amount of money or apologies can change the mistakes that were made in that hospital, but Olivia’s long-term care has to be paid for and, as her parents, we will not live forever.

“We can only hope that changes will now finally be made to urgently improve things at our local hospitals because we must ensure that these mistakes stop happening.”

SaTH has said it has already begun working hard to improve pending the release of the full report.

West Mercia Police said it is awaiting the full report before taking action.