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Maternity: Broken Trust

By Clare Gooch

A number of the bereaved families, who have been failed by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) have bravely shared their devastating experiences and stories resulting from inadequate care provided by the Trust.

Image of Maternity ward sign

The documentary, which aired on ITV on 9 June, shows these  families talking openly about their experiences, trauma and losses. It also shared their fight to implement change to ensure this does not continue to happen to other families now and in the future.

 Donna Ockenden, who leads a maternity review at the Trust that began in September 2022, said this will be the largest review carried out in the UK. Around 1700 families cases are being examined.

Initially 1,266 families were approached regarding the review of maternity services and asked to consent to participate. Of those, 674 families provided their consent to join the review. However, Donna Ockenden called for further radical review to ensure that women from all communities were being contacted by the Trust and that they felt confident to speak out and come forward regarding their experiences. This resulted in almost triple the number of cases now being included.

The families had approached the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and asked that the Trust agree to change the review from “opt in” to “opt out”. The Trust contacted the families by letter on 8 July 2023 confirming that the review will now be dealt with on an opt out basis, meaning they will automatically be included in the review unless they expressly opt out.  The review continues.

 The documentary also saw Chairman, Nick Carver, and Chief Executive, Anthony May speak openly with the families involved. They acknowledged the trauma that the families have experienced and indicated their willingness to co-operate and implement change to ensure their maternity services improve.

How our specialist birth injury lawyers can help you

At Switalskis, we support many families who have sadly suffered trauma and losses as a result of substandard care provided by NUH. We are hopeful that the review undertaken by Donna Ockenden and the co-operation from the Trust will implement positive change to ensue the maternity care provided by the Trust is improved.

Contact Switalskis today by calling 0800 1380 458 or get in touch with us by email on to discuss your concerns in confidence with a legal specialist.


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Clare has worked in Medical Negligence for over 10 years.  She’s a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Medical Negligence team based in Switalskis’ London office.

Senior Associate Solicitor

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