Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust is in charge of both the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital and there is a review underway into the Trust after dozens of babies died or were injured, According to recent reports.
However, families say the review is “moving with the viscosity of treacle” and have instead called for Donna Ockenden, who led the inquiry into the UK’s biggest maternity scandal, to chair the review.
A group of 100 people in a letter to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, expressed concerns with the current thematic enquiry which has been commissioned by the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) and NHS England, and NHS Improvement.
The CCG said the review will look at themes and trends and put in place detailed and measurable actions so improvements can be made fast.
But the independence of the review and the experience of the team handling such a profile review has been questioned by families.
The head of the review is Cathy Purt, a long-time NHS manager who the families believe has no experience of running maternity services or enquiries of this magnitude.
The letter states: “If families are to be safeguarded, real intervention is required. The review so far has been less than impactful, understaffed and moving with the viscosity of treacle.”
The families say the “answer is Donna Ockenden”, who was in charge of the inquiry into the maternity scandal at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospitals Trust.
Sarah Hawkins Gave Birth To Her Stillborn Daughter In 2016
Sarah Hawkins, whose daughter was delivered stillborn after mistakes at Nottingham City Hospital in 2016, and was awarded a £2.8m compensation said that if the review is headed by Donna Ockenden, many families affected by negligent treatment would come forward.
“I am confident that we will get into the thousands of families,” she said.
Her husband Jack Hawkins added: “We need urgent change to how maternity is working in Nottingham. There are still babies coming to harm. Donna Ockenden knows what she’s doing. She’s got a huge wealth of experience and expertise. This current team is not going to deliver what is needed.”
It has been discovered that the number of families taking part in the enquiry has risen from 84 to 461 in a month.
Interestingly, maternity units under the care of the Trust- both at the Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen’s Medical Centre have been rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as inadequate since 2020.
After a reinspection last month, the CQC issued a warning notice to the trust, as it found “serious concerns” and that some staff “did not always understand how to keep women and babies safe”. It also highlighted concerns over increases in stillbirths
After a meeting with families last week, the review said it still had to contact about 179 families – about half of those who they had been in touch with at the time.
The review is expected to be completed on 30 November 2022.
Speaking for the review team, a spokesperson (at NUH) said: “We would like to thank all the families who have come forward so far. Families and partners will be updated shortly.”
Another spokesperson for the local CCG, NHS England and NHS Improvement said the team will ensure that the experience of women and families is heard while promising that they will monitor the progress of the review and ensure that any necessary improvements to maternity services are put in place.
On the other hand, Rupert Egginton, acting chief executive at the trust, said: “We are doing everything in our power to ensure patients using our maternity services get the best care.”
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