Donna Ockenden: Maternity services in Nottingham are making improvements

The chair of an independent maternity review has warned there is a long way to go for women to access safe maternity services, but they are improving locally. Donna Ockenden launched an independent review of maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust in September 2022, following multiple failings that resulted in deaths and injuries to babies, as well as injuries to mothers.

More than 1,800 families have come forward so far, with the review team now taking a “deep dive” into antenatal care. Antenatal care involves the care that mothers and babies receive throughout pregnancy – an ‘absolutely vital’ process in the safe management of maternity patients.

This includes ultrasound scanning, prenatal screening for certain conditions, and prenatal diagnosis. In an update on the progress of the review on Tuesday 14 May, Ms Ockenden said: “We think we are now at the stage where we can do a deep dive into antenatal care.

“The more information we get and the more women come forward, the better we will be able to help the (NUH) trust improve. The more opportunities there are for women to make their voices heard and for the review team to act on them. her and the confidence to improve, the better.”

The senior midwife explained that she had observed a continuous process of learning and improvement at NUH. The Trust has recently worked to improve translation and interpretation services, ensuring that appointments are culturally sensitive to the needs of women.

Good progress has also been made in terms of staffing levels. All improvement requests made to the review team are shared with the trust with the women’s permission, and good practice reports are also received.

The review also began looking at reports of bullying among staff on April 15, but it is currently “too early” for feedback to be published. Mrs Ockenden said: “I have reminded the trust that they need to look after their staff and that includes ex-employees.

“We believe, and the trust agrees, that they have a duty of care to both current and former staff. We emphasized again the need to ensure that the trust has a really robust support structure of staff for everyone who might have any of these. has previously worked or currently works for the trust.”

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