An independent review into hospital maternity services in Nottingham dating back five years will be carried out following a number of baby deaths.
Nottingham University Hospitals – including the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital – will be examined after its maternity services were rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission following inspections last October.
Last week The Independent and Channel 4 News revealed the trust had 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.
Among the deaths which have come under scurtiny is that of baby Wynter Andrews, who died at the hospital in September 2019.
An inquest later found that there were ‘gross failings’ in Wynter’s care.
Parents Gary and Sarah Andrews said: “As a family, we are deeply concerned this review and the terms of reference have as of yet failed to involve the families affected. This is by all accounts an internal review that has been commenced and as such we are concerned it is not independent.
“Families need to be identified who were once told ‘it was just one of those things’ and put right the years of suffering these families endure. Especially those who we believe may as of yet be unaware that death or brain injury were avoidable, this inquiry is for the families blaming themselves, should they, could they have done more? It is yet another review, and historically they have not had any measurable change or impact at the Trust.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “NHS England and the CCG are finalising the terms of reference for an independent review of maternity cases.
“The review will date back to 2016 and establish whether there was effective reporting, investigation and monitoring of serious incidents – in line with the NHS Serious Incident Framework – and whether appropriate actions were taken in response. Further details will be set out in due course.
“We have taken various steps to ensure there is proper oversight and support for the Trust, including dedicated hands-on support from senior clinical leads for Nottingham University Hospital through the national Maternity Safety Support Programme.”
Chief Nurse for Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, Michelle Rhodes, said: “We are truly sorry that not every family using our maternity services has received the high quality of care they deserve. We will work alongside our healthcare partners, and listen to families and our staff, to ensure we improve our maternity care – we welcome this review.”
The Trust said it is making progress with its “comprehensive Maternity Improvement Programme”.
It has also employed a new Director of Midwifery, and continues to recruit more midwives and obstetricians.