Shocking Documentary into Nottingham Maternity Scandal Shows Families Point of View

A new documentary has been released providing further insight into the poor maternity services in Nottingham and the true effect on the families who have suffered. The documentary highlights the trauma which has been incurred and makes for truly harrowing viewing. 

Over the course of the documentary, the families outline their concerns over a lack of open and honest communication from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) as well as a feeling that the parents themselves have been blamed for the events which have taken place. One family spoke of their experience in which they were directly blamed for the injuries which they were told had led to the death of their baby, which later was found to be false. The mental trauma caused is more than one can imagine. 

The documentary showed the families attending a meeting in West Bridgford on Saturday 17th February 2024, which was set up with the hope of allowing the families to share their stories. Freeths’ clinical negligence lawyers Jane Williams and Gemma Bedford attended this meeting alongside their clients for support. They saw first-hand the effects of the Trust’s actions and will continue to attend any ongoing meetings to further the fight. 

The families followed in the documentary, as well as nearly 1,900 more, are involved in the independent review into the Nottingham maternity services being carried out by Donna Ockenden. The review is looking into the cases of women and families who fall into any of the following five categories:

  1. Stillbirths from 24 weeks gestation
  2. Neonatal deaths from 24 weeks gestation that occur up to 28 days of life
  3. Babies diagnosed with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (Grade 2 & 3) and other significant brain injury
  4. Maternal deaths up to 42 days post-partum and;
  5. Cases of severe maternal harm. Despite there being only five categories of cases outlined within the scope of the review, the documentary highlighted just how different each family’s experience was, and therefore how vast the range of errors have been.

The review is due to be published in around September 2025, and although Freeths appreciate how difficult it must be for the families to have to wait for answers, we are encouraged by the thoroughness of the investigations which are taking place and hope that it will mean real change is made and clear apologies are given. 

In the meantime, the families will await individualised responses from the Trust. The end of the documentary showed a statement from a spokesperson for NUH who noted that in response to allegations made by one of the families, “if, during the course of the (Ockenden) Review, it is identified that medical records were falsified, then we will respond accordingly.” It appears that the Trust intends to respond more fully once the review findings have been published. 

Jane Williams, Partner and Head of the Clinical Negligence team in Nottingham at Freeths, said: “We are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this review alongside our clients, but what is clear, not only here in Nottingham but across the country, is the ongoing failings in obstetric care. Despite numerous inquiries and litigation there seems to be little in the way of improvement and we support our clients call for a statutory public inquiry to effect real change in maternity services once and for all.” 

As clinical negligence lawyers we have been contacted and represent an increasing number of families and children who have suffered or have lost loved ones as a result of failures in maternity 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. For those who have sadly suffered loss we can help to secure support and therapy to help those suffering to come to terms with these devastating events. We can also help secure an apology from the Trust responsible and seek to ensure the same mistakes are not made again.  

If you or a loved one have similar concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, confidential discussion. 

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