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Stillbirth rates at Royal Derby Hospital under scrutiny

Maternity services at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (“UHDB”) have been under the spotlight in recent months, including a recently released HSIB report which made a number of safety recommendations to be addressed by the Trust.

We are already acting for patients who have been impacted by the failings in care in the maternity services at the Trust. Further concerns have now been raised surrounding the stillbirth rate at the Trust which is substantially higher than the national average.

Whilst the number of cases per 1,000 deaths is low, at a rate of 4.55 per 1,000 births this is higher than the national average of 4.2. At a Derby City Council health scrutiny meeting which took place this week, Dr Chris Weiner, Chief Medical Officer at Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board said that the stillbirth rate was a “matter of concern”.

The initial review into stillbirths at UHDB conducted in January 2023 was considered to be “too small of a review to come to any firm conclusions” Dr Weiner went on to say “We are just trying to put plans together as a system to undertake a larger review of stillbirths, just to make sure we are not missing anything where we could potentially improve services and prevent stillbirths going forward”.

Investigations are to be focused on understanding the reasons as to why there is a concerning stillbirth rise. Dr Weiner confirmed that officials will be visiting maternity units in neighbouring counties which were “recognised as having good services” and have had “some attention from the Ockenden team”.

In March 2022 Donna Ockenden published a report into Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust which provided guidance to all Hospital Trusts as to immediate actions that needed to be addressed across NHS maternity services. Councillor Alison Martin, Chair of the Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee said “Whilst you obviously don’t feel any cause for alarm in Derby in the maternity services, the statistics do show that there are real areas of concern”. She pointed out that the trust was not meeting “many” Ockenden recommendations.

Our clinical negligence team has years of experience in dealing with the effects of poor maternity care, birth injuries to mother and baby and still birth. If you think that you, or a loved one, may have been affected by negligent medical care during pregnancy or birth whilst under the care of University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust or elsewhere, you are welcome to contact our team to discuss how we can help and support you:

For further information please get in touch with our Clinical Negligence Team.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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