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Through the looking glass

02 March 2024
Volume 32 · Issue 3


Sheila Brill shares her personal experiences of maternity services in 1993, drawing comparisons to the Ockenden and Kirkup reports

I should be looking forward to my daughter's 31st birthday in May, but I'm not. I should be watching her progress through life, having conversations about things she is considering doing, decisions she has taken and regretted, and celebrating her triumphs. We should be laughing together, crying together and endlessly hugging. But we're not. The stark reality is that she passed away in January 2017 at the age of 23 years old.

Josephine never stood a chance. Born in London on 11 May 1993, clinical negligence resulted in catastrophic brain injury at birth, leading to a lifetime of profound disability.

If only this was just a story from history; if only the clinical negligence case against the health trust had made a difference, stopped it happening to other parents. As the Ockenden (2024) report shows, ‘families have…explained that they want what happened to them to matter and to ensure that in future voices, such as their own, are listened to and heard and that meaningful and sustained changes will be made to try to ensure that what happened to them will not happen to others in future’.

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