THE HUSBAND of one of the women who died after giving birth at a Hampshire hospital has welcomed changes made since his wife's death.

Mr Kimmance added: "I am very pleased to hear that the Royal Hampshire County Hospital now routinely uses the early warning scoring system (Meows) for monitoring all women who are admitted to the maternity unit and that it has also introduced guidelines for the assessment of all women who are readmitted - the latter we heard is unique.

"Nothing will change what has happened to our family, but it would give me some reassurance that this tragedy won't happen to another family if this approach was to be adopted not just in Winchester, but across the country."

Dr Kevin Stewart, medical director of Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "It is reassuring that the coroner has emphasised that neither the maternity unit nor its staff were likely to have been the direct source of the virulent infections that took such a terrible hold of Amy and Jasmine.

"We heard evidence about the extensive screening programme which we implemented in line with advice from the Health Protection Agency.

"No trace of group A streptococcus was found in the maternity unit itself and, although there were three positive results among staff, the timing of their infections does not fit with them having transmitted group A streptococcus to either patient.

"The coroner highlighted that there was an increase in group A streptococcus in the winter of 2007/08 and that we may never know exactly how Amy and Jasmine contracted the infection.

"We do know, however, that postnatal women can be more susceptible and we have also established that the strain which Amy and Jasmine contracted was extremely pathogenic, resulting in their severe and rapid deterioration."