UK’s largest review into failings in maternity care at Nottingham Hospital

Following numerous reports between 2010 and 2020 concerning dozens of baby deaths and injuries occurring at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust, the Trust is now undertaking the UK’s largest review of its practices. This started in September and focuses on maternity units at the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital, which are both run by the Nottingham NHS Trust.

Ms Ockenden, chair of the inquiry has called for a “radical review” to ensure “women from all communities” were being contacted by the Trust and “felt confident” enough to come forward. The Trust has now written to affected families, confirming cases will be dealt with on an opt-out basis, so affected families can opt-out of giving consent.

During the Trust’s annual meeting on Monday 10 July, NUH chairman Nic Carver addressed the bereaved families stating: “For too long we have not listened to women and families who have been affected by failings in our maternity services […] this brick-wall approach has caused additional pain, and this must change.”

They have acknowledged more needs to be done to regain trust from the families of those affected and is working towards a meaningful apology.

Ms Ockenden said she has already seen positive changes from the families’ points of view but the Trust still has a long journey as “what has happened cannot be fixed overnight”.

The Trust’s response to the review

NUH chief executive Anthony May, who took over the job last year, told BBC Radio Nottingham that the Trust wants a new relationship built on trust and transparency and to understand how the families can help them improve the maternity services they provide.

Mr May also noted the Trust has made improvements regarding equipment and staff training, adding more doctors and midwives are “in the pipeline”.

The group representing the parents stated:  “We welcome today’s pledge from the Trust for a ‘new, honest and transparent relationship’ with a sense of relief and optimism. For too long we have been fighting to be not just heard, but for action to be taken, and for there to be accountability. We deserve to learn who knew what and when, why it was allowed to continue; and how the Trust avoided scrutiny for so long.”

The review is still ongoing, although after the annual meeting, the families stated they have seen a positive change from the Trust in their commitment to be transparent and honest. We look forward to following future updates from the Trust.

Ally Taft, Head of Medical Negligence says, “It is deeply upsetting to hear of so many families affected by the Trust’s errors. We hope the review brings the families answers and the Trust can learn from their mistakes, so that families do not have to suffer in the same way in the future.”

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