Mothers and babies put at risk at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

If you have recently given birth at or had maternity care provided by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust you may have concerns surrounding the quality of care. Or you may feel like you have a number of unanswered questions and feel unable to get the answers you deserve.

 

Birth injury scandal

Avoidable errors at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust resulted in the death or suffering of a number of mothers and babies. Such is the extent of the poor quality of care provided by the Trust, that the NHS care watchdog is now considering a criminal prosecution against the Trust over its failure to provide safe care to both mothers and babies.

Whilst birth injuries are rare in England, the Independent and Channel 4 News revealed that in recent years, 46 babies have been left permanently brain damaged as a result of delays and poor monitoring at the Trust. There have also been 15 deaths and 19 stillbirths at Nottingham University Hospital Trusts. This combined with the fact that there are currently 70 full time vacancies for midwives, and a review of staffing found that the numbers of midwives was too low and needed to increase to keep mothers and babies safe, has resulted in families suffering the consequences of poor care.

In a further blow to the families, it appears that there has been a lack of transparency about the incidents surrounding a birth injury or death. This has led to the CQC investigating whether the Trust may have committed a criminal offence in not being open and transparent with families after incidents of avoidable harm. It is also probable that a number of families who received care at the Trust are unaware of the poor care or reasons behind a poor birth outcome, with no knowledge that this may have been avoidable.

Mounting potential for birth injury negligence

During their investigations, the CQC found that in 2020 the death of a mother after giving birth was labelled as a “low harm” incident, and in another case there was a failure to report a stillbirth as a serious incident for 159 days. Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents with the CQC finding that there was inconsistent grading of incidents. This means that appropriate investigations and learnings may not have been made by the hospital, nor the families notified of the potential negligence that may have occurred.

The ongoing investigations are likely to make difficult reading for the families that have been forever impacted by potentially negligent care. It also comes at a time where the CQC have downgraded a number of ratings of other maternity units across the country, including East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, raising concerns over the quality of care provided at maternity units across the country.

The latest findings at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust may raise concerns amongst those who were looked after by, or gave birth at the hospital.  If you believe that you or your baby suffered as a result of avoidable errors and poor care, specialist birth injury solicitors, Blackwater Law can help you find the answers and take steps to protect you and your families’ interests.

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