By Bridie Adams

THE Ockenden campaigners, who have fought for improvements to NHS care following the UK’s biggest maternity scandal, have been awarded with MBEs.

Rhiannon Davies and Kayleigh Griffiths, along with their husbands Richard Stanton and Colin Griffiths, campaigned for years before receiving honours in the King’s Birthday List.

Rhiannon and Kayleigh, who both lost their babies Kate and Pippa amid the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust scandal, were the original campaigners to initiate the Ockenden review into poor care from the trust.

Ludlow Advertiser: Rhiannon Davies with baby Kate Stanton DaviesRhiannon Davies with baby Kate Stanton Davies (Image: Richard Stanton)

Rhiannon said: “Together, we have campaigned for improvements in maternity care and lobbied for these changes to be embedded for the prevention of harm to others.

“We have been awarded for sustained service to our community – and so I am graciously accepting my honour. I do so in memory of my daughter Kate, in thanks for her sister Isabella, and on behalf of all families affected”.

Rhiannon and Richard, who live in Herefordshire, lost their baby Kate at a maternity unit in Ludlow just six hours after her birth. An inquest, which the couple had at first been denied, returned a verdict that there were “drastic errors at all levels that should have been avoided, and contributed to the death of Kate”, Richard told Channel 4 News.

A coroner ruled that the death of Kayleigh and Colin’s baby Pippa in 2016 should also have been avoided.

The campaigners turned to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the CQC, NHS England and more in their pursuit of justice. But more than 11 years after Kate’s death, former midwife Donna Ockenden investigated almost 2,000 cases of baby and mother deaths and injuries at the Shrewsbury trust and concluded that 200 babies who died could have been saved. The original campaigners had tirelessly collated the first 23 cases to be examined in the review themselves.

The report, released last year, said: “Kate’s death in 2009 and Pippa’s death in 2016 were avoidable. The parents’ unrelenting commitment to ensuring their daughters’ lives were not lost in vain continues to be remarkable.”

The Ockenden review was requested by Jeremy Hunt when he was secretary of state for health and social care and commissioned by NHS Improvement.