BASILDON Hospital bosses have confirmed the unrelated deaths of a mother during childbirth and a baby.

The hospital says it has launched its own investigation into the separate incidents in which the mother died and another woman had a stillborn baby.

It would not reveal how the investigation would be conducted or whether any members of staff had been suspended.

The child born to the mother who died is said to be healthy and has since been released from hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “We are extremely sad to confirm that a maternal death has taken place in Basildon hospital. This is tragic and heartbreaking for the family and we are offering support to the family and those involved at this very difficult time.

“A full and comprehensive investigation is underway. We will ensure that any recommendations are fully implemented. We are unable to comment further until this investigation has been completed.”

The hospital was unable to confirm the Care Quality Commission’s belief the stillbirth had been referred to the independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch though it said it had been referring cases since 2018. It also refused to comment on the child’s death.

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, an independent organisation funded by the Department of Health said yesterday it was unable to comment on individual cases.

The deaths followed a Care Quality Commission inspection which took place from February 12 to 14 when the maternity unit was closed by the trust.

The commission, which has yet to report on its findings, said it was “monitoring the hospital closely”.

The ward reopened on Saturday, February 23, following the ten day closure which the hospital says was for a refurbishment and not linked to the Care Quality Commission inspection.

Readers took to the Echo’s Facebook page in support of the unit. One said: “ I had five of six of my babies here and I can’t fault the staff at all. With my last one I ended up with sepsis and they picked it up straight away and they were absolutely amazing.

“They saved mine and my baby’s life. And the after care they gave us as we had to stay in for a week was amazing.

“We were constantly monitored and asked if we were okay. I almost felt sad to leave.”