Wednesday 17 July 2024
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Maternity improvements in Nottingham are a ‘top priority’ for new NHS body

An NHS body newly established this summer to improve how local services work together says improving maternity services in Nottinghamshire is one of its “top priorities”.

Maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital, are rated ‘inadequate’.

The trust has been overseen by NHS England’s Recovery Support Programme (RSP) since September 2021, which includes a support package of £1.5M over two years.

Senior midwife Donna Ockenden officially started a review into the trust’s maternity units in Nottingham on September 1 after bereaved families called for urgent change.

Ms Ockenden said the review team has already had over 350 emails, letters and calls since the review started.

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At the city council’s health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee on September 15 councillors will discuss how the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) is scrutinising the trust.

The ICB replaced the former Clinical Commissioning Group in July.

The body is responsible for the planning and commissioning
of healthcare services and “plays an integral role in ensuring the delivery of high quality and safe local health and care services”.

Representatives of the Integrated Care Board and NHS England Regional Team will be attending the meeting to answer questions from councillors.

A report prepared by the ICB ahead of the meeting said: “Although improvements are being made, it is widely acknowledged that the pace is not where we want it to be for our women and their families.

“The scale of improvement required will take time and has been further compounded by operational demands and response to the pandemic. This however has not prevented the efforts of our teams to maintain the focus. The offers of support to NUH Maternity Services from system partners and regulators have been broad and longstanding.”

The report said the ICB has been working closely with system partners and NUH to oversee improvements in the services, providing capacity to support, as well as continuing to provide scrutiny and challenge to the improvement plans.

It adds that the regional NHS England team has assisted the trust with support including regional communications, including temporary acting Director of Communications backfill.

 

The report added that an NUH Improvement Oversight and Assurance Group (IOAG) has been established, which meets monthly and includes members from the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England (HEE), Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, the General Medical Council (GMC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), as well as calling on key members of the Trust’s leadership team.

The report added: “The ICB welcomes the Review of NUH maternity services chaired by Donna Ockenden, which will give further opportunity to support the families involved in maternity services at NUH have their voices heard, and provide valuable learning to support the rapid improvement in quality in these services to benefit our citizens.

“We are fully committed to both supporting this review and implementing the findings at pace.

“The ICB will provide all information requested by Donna Ockenden’s team and is available to feed in other relevant information and data as required.

“Improving the quality of care delivered at NUH’s maternity services is one of the top priorities for the ICB.”

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