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Royal Derby Hospital Trust maternity services require improvement states the Care Quality Commission

In August 2023 inspectors from the Care Quality Commission carried out a short notice inspection of the maternity services at the Trust looking at issues of safety and whether the maternity unit was well led.

As a consequence of the inspection the rating of the hospital went down to requires improvement both in regard to safety and leadership.

Some of the key findings in Royal Derby Hospital Trust’s maternity services report were as follows:

  1. The service did not always assess risks in relation to foetal monitoring and post-partum haemorrhage.
  2. There was a shortage of staff.
  3. The staff were not always up to date with training and key skills and were following protocols that did not align with national guidelines.
  4. Safety incidents were not identified, managed and investigated appropriately. Any lessons from safety investigations were not embedded into the service.

The inspection team were particularly concerned because after a previous inspection they had raised concerns and they did not feel that the Trust had taken actions on those concerns. They felt now that as a result there is a real risk of harm to patients.

Karen Reynolds, the Partner in charge of our Derby Team, with over 25 years experience in pursuing maternity negligence claims against both the Derby and Burton Trust said: “I have read the Care Quality Commission Report looking into maternity care provided by the Royal Derby Trust. I find it incredibly depressing reading it as none of the issues highlighted are new to me. I have been acting for patients making claims against the Derby and Burton Hospitals maternity unit for in excess of 25 years and at the present time we have 16 claims against them we are investigating. The report makes it clear that the Trust is not learning from their errors and that is my experience.

The report is about the Trust but it is the patients who should be front and centre. The Trust failings have profound impact on patients and their families. One of the failings is in relation to CTG training and interpretation. A CTG is a key tool in assessing a baby’s wellbeing during labour. If not read correctly and if appropriate actions are not taken, this can result in stillbirth, infant death and brain injury. Families live with the consequences for decades. 

I am just incredibly depressed. I always tell my clients that hopefully the Trust will learn from their errors but clearly they are not. They are clearly incapable to taking the necessary steps. Donna Ockenden needs to extend her enquiry into Derby and Burton and we need a national independent maternity investigation. 

I would also like to say I have a gynae investigation on against one of Derby’s gynaecologists at the moment. Why are we failing female patients so catastrophically? Why is this happening and why can’t we stop it?”

You can find the reports in relation to the maternity services at both Royal Derby Hospital and Queens Hospital below:


Our Clinical Negligence team across Freeths has years of experience in dealing with the effects of poor maternity care, birth injuries to mother and baby and stillbirth. If you think that you, or a loved one, may have been affected by negligent medical care during pregnancy or birth, you are welcome to contact Karen ReynoldsSiobhan Genever, Demi Shephard or Ibrahim Mahmood to discuss how we can help and support you.


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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