Maternity Learning Review at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

The spotlight has been firmly placed on maternity services across the NHS further to the outcome of the Ockenden Report into maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust released in 2022.

This report alerted hospitals to a number of areas of maternity care as to which urgent improvement was required in the hope that such improvements would lead to increased patient safety thus reducing the tragic loss of or injuries to babies and mothers alike.

Whilst Ms Ockenden is now chairing a further investigation at local Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals, many other Trusts are taking steps to improve their own maternity services as advised within the Ockenden Report.

In Derby, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (“UHDB”) have welcomed an independent maternity learning review that commenced in December 2022. The review has been commissioned by NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board and at present is considering seven maternity cases. The Trust advise that whilst these cases have already been individually investigated, by entering into this process, they will ensure that all learning opportunities will be welcomed.

Following on from the Ockenden Report the Trust have committed to ensure the delivery of safer maternity care. However, concerned families continue to approach us to discuss their experiences around treatment they have received which has led to potentially life changing injuries.

Review of the Public Trust Board Meeting Minutes and supporting documentation show that the Trust are regularly discussing the maternity services and how incidents are being addressed. This has involved the Trust referring their more serious incidents to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (“HSIB”) for review. The HSIB undertake maternity investigations where certain criteria have been met. These include maternal death, intrapartum stillbirth, early neonatal death and severe brain injury diagnosed in the first 7 days of life. A worrying criteria to be met and yet a number of cases are regularly being referred for consideration. Where an incident doesn’t meet the criteria for referral to the HSIB then Serious Incidents or Patient Safety Incident Investigations are carried out. These can cover a wide range of concerns including possible failures in respect of fetal monitoring and deterioration in health of the mother.UHDB intend to share the findings of the learning review in due course, and it is hoped that this will be early in 2023. We are currently acting for a number of families with regard to obstetric care at UHDB and we will be interested to consider their findings and whether the investigation will widen further as a result.


If you have had a poor experience or been affected by sub-standard maternity care at 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:-

  • Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham/Manchester/Liverpool) on 0345 272 5677 or by email to [email protected]
  • Siobhan Genever, Director: 0345 030 5774 or 07971 586185 or by email to [email protected]
  • Ibrahim Mahmood, Legal Assistant: 0345 126 4359 or by email to [email protected]

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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