Donna Ockenden Appointed as Chair of Review into Nottingham Maternity Services
News has finally broken that Donna Ockenden, who led the inquiry into maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford, will now chair the inquiry in the services at Nottingham. This follows uproar from affected families when Julie Dent, former NHS Trust Chair, was previously appointed as chair without consultation, which triggered them to write a series of letters to the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, highlighting their fears that Ms Dent could not be sufficiently independent. There is now a huge sense of relief over Ms Ockenden’s appointment with families believing that she will be able to conduct a “robust review”.
It has been confirmed that Ms Ockenden’s review will highlight the failings and bring about real changes, following the CQC having rated the maternity services in Nottingham as inadequate since 2020. The CQC have confirmed that the service is still failing and needs significant improvement before it is safe for the women and babies in its care. There is a great deal of concern throughout that changes are not happening quickly enough, but NHS England have stated that Ms Ockenden’s review will suggest “actionable recommendations that can be implemented as quickly as possible.” An interim report should be available by 10 June this year, and it is certainly hoped that, with Ms Ockenden at the front of this enquiry, changes will finally be made.
Although a step in the right direction for the 590 families who have come forward after suffering tragedies at the hands of the inadequate services, they have had to fight incredibly hard to be heard. Sajid Javid has stated that he has been “deeply moved by the stories of the families who have suffered from these tragic failings” and it is now time for these urgent improvements to be made.
As clinical negligence lawyers we represent families and children who have suffered or have lost loved ones as a result of failures in medical care during labour and birth. These claims seek to ensure that any child who has suffered a preventable injury can access the services they require such as care, therapy, aids and equipment, and suitably adapted accommodation which may assist them during their lives. We can also help secure an apology from the Trust responsible and seek to ensure the same mistakes are not made again.
National news coverage:
- BBC News: Nottingham maternity review – Donna Ockenden confirmed as head
- The Independent: Nottingham maternity scandal – Donna Ockenden to chair new review
- BBC News: Scandal-hit Nottingham maternity services ordered to improve
If you or a loved one have similar concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, confidential discussion
Please see our designated claims against maternity services page for more information
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