A hospital trust has pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment for a seven-day-old baby.

Representatives of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust appeared in Folkestone Magistrates’ Court earlier in relation to the case of Harry Richford, who died in 2017, and his mother Sarah Richford.

An inquest has previously found that Harry’s death at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in November 2017 was ‘wholly avoidable’.

In court, the trust admitted failing to provide safe care and treatment to Harry and Sarah under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations.

Care for mothers and newborn babies at the trust has been heavily criticised following a series of baby deaths.

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The first-of-its-kind prosecution comes after Harry’s parents Tom and Sarah Richford spent years fighting for answers and campaigning for better maternity safety.

The charges were brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last October.

Speaking at the time they were announced, a spokesperson said: ‘The trust is charged with exposing Harry Richford and his mother, Sarah Richford, to significant risk of avoidable harm.’

More to follow

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