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More than 700 families contact Nottingham maternity review in first six weeks

More than 700 families have now contacted a new maternity review which is examining cases of poor care in Nottingham hospitals.

Experienced midwife Donna Ockenden began the independent of maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust in September.

The review is expected to last 18 months, depending on the number of families who come forward.

Ms Ockenden officially started the review on September 1 after bereaved families called on the health secretary for urgent change and a previous NHS review was scrapped.

This week Ms Ockenden has spent two days in Nottingham, where she has spent time at the Baitul Hafeez mosque in Sneinton talking to a women’s group with experiences of maternity care.

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“Over 700 families have made contact with us since September 1 via our email”, she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service on October 13.

She said 70 members of trust staff have also come forward to be a part of the review – and a campaign, the ‘staff voices initiative’ to get more staff involved launched on October 13.

All are current and former staff members who worked directly in or closely with the trust’s maternity service.

Nottingham University Hospitals says it has been “actively encouraging all our colleagues to engage with this process”.

Any information shared by staff is confidential.

The review follows the deaths of dozens of babies while in the care of maternity services at the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital.

Ms Ockenden added: “We only started the review on September 1 and here we are less than six weeks in – the fact that 70 plus members of staff have come forward is really pleasing.

“It is absolutely crucial that we hear from staff on the ground.

“Staff will be able to submit answers on our website to a short survey and volunteer to talk to members of our review team.

“What I would say to staff is just like you, my review team are made up of ordinary midwives and doctors on the ground, currently working within the NHS.

“We know that there will be many staff within maternity services at NUH who go in day after day and give their all in providing safe care for mothers and families.

“We also know that often staff will have, or know of, solutions to the problems that are faced.

“We will be absolutely delighted to hear about good practice on the ground.

“We specifically want to know if as a staff member you raised concerns, what happened? Did you feel listened to? If you were involved in an incident, how were you treated?”

Ms Ockenden added that families who were involved in the previous Clinical Commissioning Group review, which was scrapped in June, should soon receive a letter.

She said: “If a family responds and says they want to be part of Donna Ockenden’s review, their information will come across to us.

“The family has a choice whether we listen to their ‘listening exercise’ from the previous review, or if they wish to have another conversation with us, they are welcome to.”

Michelle Rhodes, Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust said: “We support Donna Ockenden in calling for all our current and former colleagues to engage with this important and vital process.

“We are committed to making the necessary and lasting improvements to our maternity services and the voices of our staff, as well as those who have received care at our Trust, will be invaluable to the review team.”

Staff can contact the review team at or by calling 01243 786993 (between 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

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