More than 30 new midwives will be in post by the end of this month as Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) attempts to improve its maternity services.
Maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust – including the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital – were rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission following inspections last year.
It has been reported that the trust paid out £91 million in compensation after more than 30 deaths.
A further 46 babies were left permanently brain damaged.
NHS England and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which provides local healthcare services, has confirmed it is conducting a review dating back to 2016.
Bosses from the hospital trust are due to discuss the improvements being made at a Nottinghamshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee on Tuesday, October 12.
Dr Keith Girling, Medical Director of Nottinghamshire University Hospitals and other senior colleagues will attend the meeting.
Improvements include the recruitment of 36 extra midwives, which will start work at the trust in October, including a new director of midwifery.
Four new consultant obstetricians will be in post by January 2020 and all working staff have also been trained on fetal heart rate monitoring.
The report for the meeting states: “The maternity service has faced significant challenges over the summer due to staff needing to self-isolate, staff sickness and the increase in Covid-19 positive pregnant women and the holiday period.
“We had a plan in place to address our workforce pressures which included moving clinical staff working in non-patient facing roles to work clinically and offering additional rates of pay to encourage staff to take up additional shifts.
“We are taking proactive action with staff who are thinking of leaving the service to support them to stay, and we have written to all of the midwives who recently retired to ask them to consider if they would like to support our service.
“A big part of our maternity improvement work is addressing the culture within the service, and we have a programme of cultural change work under way.
“We have worked with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust who have provided a counsellor to work with our staff to help support them. In October 2021 a psychologist will also start to work with staff in our service.”
The trust says due to the “huge increase” it saw in pregnant women with Covid-19, it launched a Virtual Ward.
Women receive a phone call every day from a doctor and are brought into hospital as needed.
The report added: “We are committed to making sure women and families are involved in our service improvements and that we listen to what matters to them.
“We acknowledge that we still have a great deal of progress to make to ensure our maternity service is providing the best possible care for women and their babies.
“We are wholeheartedly committed to making and sustaining improvements and although we still have further work to do we are seeing some areas of change and improvement.”