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News Clinical Negligence 27th Jan 2023

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust fined £800,000 after pleading guilty to two charges

In an unprecedented move, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have been fined £800,000 after pleading guilty to two charges brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The prosecution centres around the death of baby Wynter in 2019. Wynter died from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy  (loss of oxygen to the brain) – which could have been prevented had staff at the QMC delivered her sooner.

At the Inquest into Wynter’s death, the Coroner described the matter as a “clear and obvious case of neglect”.

This criminal prosecution is only one of two that the CQC has brought against an NHS maternity unit.

The Ockenden review into Nottingham’s maternity care is gathering pace, with over 1000 families who have suffered similar trauma having been contacted. Read our recent article discussing the review.

This is against the background of investigations which have taken place into maternity care offered at East Kent Hospitals, Morecambe Bay and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

It is evident that the maternity care in Britain is in a poor state, not least in Nottinghamshire. Surely this has to be a turning point?

Representing the families, Jane Williams, Clinical Negligence Partner, said: “Nottingham NHS Trust have today been fined £800,000 after admitting failings in the care of baby Winter. This prosecution and level of penalty given crucially indicates the gravity of failings in maternity care services in Nottingham and it is our clients’ hope that this, together with the Ockenden Review, will finally represent a gruelling, long-awaited turning point for maternity care. Following the findings, the Trust needs to ensure that sustainable improvements are now made to restore families’ trust and faith in the service.

“We’re continuing to receive enquiries from families affected by the maternity service and it’s encouraging that there is now over 1,000 families participating with the Ockenden Review. This is indicative of the scale of the problem.”

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