Friday 23 February 2024
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Nottingham

Health scrutiny committee to take a ‘step back’ as Donna Ockenden is appointed for NUH review

A health committee chair said it is time to “step back” from scrutinising Nottingham’s maternity services after it was confirmed Donna Ockenden will lead a new review into the ‘inadequate’ units.

Earlier this month it was announced the experienced midwife would lead her own review into maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals.

It means an existing thematic review, which started in 2021, will come to an end.

Councillor Sue Saddington, who chairs the health scrutiny committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, had previously written to the Health Secretary outlining concerns with the units.

The committee had also discussed the problems on five occasions between March 2021 and March 2022.

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“The Health Scrutiny Committee has delivered upon its statutory responsibilities in helping to highlight, scrutinise and refer upwards serious concerns about the provision of maternity services for Nottinghamshire residents as delivered by NUH”, council documents stated.

“Now that the new national review has been established, it is appropriate that the Committee steps back and lets the new review get on with its vital work.”

The papers also stated that the committee will no longer consider the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, as it planned to in its July meeting.

The latest inspection found that “serious problems remain” in the maternity units, which “did not have enough staff” to keep women and babies safe.

Inspectors found “some improvements” but they were “not widespread or rapid enough to address the areas of concern”.

The CQC has now demanded that “rapid and widespread improvement” is implemented at both the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital, which are run by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.

The papers added: “However, the progress of the national Review will be monitored, and the Committee will have the opportunity to consider its findings, once published.”

Councillors will discuss the report during the health committee’s next meeting on June 14.

The Trust says keeping mums and babies safe and providing them with high quality care remains its “top priority”, and says it is “committed” to making changes to improve its rating.

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