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More Than 40 Babies Have Died In UK’s Nottingham Maternity Wards

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More than 40 babies have died or suffered brain damage in maternity wards at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (“NUH”) in the United Kingdom over the past 40 years. Last year, concerns about serious incidents, external investigations and a Coronial Inquiry led the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) to conduct an unannounced inspection on 14 and 15 October 2020. The CQC found maternity services “inadequate.”

Between 2010 and 2020, at least 46 infants suffered severe brain damage and 19 were stillborn at Nottingham University Hospitals trust’s maternity units.

There have been 15 deaths of mothers and babies over the same period, official records uncovered by Channel 4 News and The Independent show.

The number of deaths directly attributable to poor care is not known and it is unclear how many stillbirths or other deaths would be expected for a trust of this size over a ten-year period.

But the figures will reignite concerns about NHS maternity units in the wake of recent scandals at East Kent Hospitals and the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals in Shropshire.

Initial CQC Findings

The CQC’s initial inspection resulted in some disturbing findings. It found that some staff had not completed the required training and therefore lacked the skills necessary to keep women and babies safe. In addition, the maternity ward was generally understaffed, making the services provided unsafe.

In response, NUH accepted the CQC’s findings. It apologized to the victims’ families and said it “has already made immediate changes and will continue to make additional improvements.”

Latest CQC Report

This past May, the CQC conducted a re-inspection of NUH’s maternity services. They noted that progress had been made but that improvements were still needed.

The CEO stated that they consider improving maternity services as a priority service and are focused on recruiting and training additional midwives. In addition, they intend to improve record keeping by introducing digital maternity records.

NUH said, “We will continue to listen to women and families, whether they received excellent care or inadequate care; it is their experiences that will help us learn and improve our services.”

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