Thursday 23 May 2024
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Nottingham

70 families come forward to share experiences with maternity review team

Seventy families have come forward to be a part of an independent review into maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.

The aim of the review is to “drive rapid improvements to maternity services in Nottingham by focussing on issues where change is urgently needed”, following dozens of baby deaths and injuries at the trust.

Both the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital are run by the organisation.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS England are jointly leading the ‘thematic review’ of maternity incidents, complaints and concerns at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH).

The CCG previously said that engagement from “every family with experience” will be a part of the review.

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Maternity services are rated inadequate by inspectors the Care Quality Commission and the trust as a whole is classed as ‘requires improvement’.

Programme Director of the review, Cathy Purt, said during a Nottingham City Council Health Scrutiny Committee meeting on February 17: “We have started the review. We have had 70 families come forward 19 families have had their first interview with us.

“We have secured via the CCG specialist psychological support for the rest of the families so they will now be able to come forward and have their interviews as well.

“40 staff have come forward so far and more are coming as we go.

“We are doing reviews of board papers, the quality committee, we are looking at CCG board papers and NHS England papers as well.”

The review will cover information dating back to 2006, and is expected to be complete on November 30 2022.

Chief Nurse Michelle Rhodes and Director of Midwifery Sharon Wallis came under fire during the meeting from the chair, Councillor Georgia Power (Lab).

They said they expect the trust to return to a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating by mid-2024.

Councillor Power (Lab) responded: “We’ve had you here to talk about maternity a number of times and to talk about issues at NUH.

“We have often felt frustrated at the information that is coming through.

“The first time we had an NUH talk on maternity was January 2021 at which they promised that maternity would be good or outstanding in 12 months. It’s been 13 now and I think we all can agree it’s not good or outstanding.

“It felt like they didn’t have a realistic grip on what’s going on.”

Ms Wallis replied: “We feel that three years is a realistic target for a ‘good’ rating.

“We’d like to be outstanding, but good is realistic. Given the amount of work we’ve got to do that is a stretch, but it is achievable.

“It is quite overwhelming to be quite honest with you.”

Ms Rhodes added: “With all our hearts we want this to be sorted out now but this has to be realistic.

“Last time you were reassured on something you shouldn’t have been.”

Staffing is also a “challenge” at the trust, where on average three or four midwives leave every month.

Ms Wallis added there has recently been a successful bid for 15 international midwives who will start in July.

Student midwives are also being offered automatic posts instead of going through an application process.

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