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Nottingham NHS Trust maternity services rated inadequate

Nottingham NHS Trust maternity services have been rated inadequate following an inspection in the wake of an inquest which ruled that a baby’s death was the result of neglect.

2 December 2020

The inspection on 14 October, 2020 was “in response to concerns raised from serious incidents, external investigations performed by Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch and coronial inquests”, says the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.

Maternity services were rated inadequate for safety, effectiveness, and leadership. 

Coroner Laurinda Bower ruled that baby Wynter Andrews’ death at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre on 15 September 2019 “was a clear and obvious case of neglect”, reported the BBC.

Her mother, Sarah’s care was “littered with departures from local and national guidance”, it said.

There were repeated failures to consult notes and inadequate and insufficient handover, leading to risk factors being omitted from clinical decision making, it was reported.

Baby Wynter was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her leg and neck, she was starved of oxygen and she died 23 minutes after her delivery.

The coroner was told that midwives had written to the hospitals trust board in 2018 to warn of their safety concerns.

Inspectors found women were being left at risk of harm because of a shortage of midwives, and failures by staff to properly assess women who could be high-risk pregnancies or at risk of deteriorating on the wards while in labour, reports the Independent, which adds that families have demanded an inquiry into maternity care at the trust.

Following the inspection that took place a week after the inquest into Wynter’s death, the CQC has issued a formal warning notice and imposed conditions on the hospitals trust relating to the maternity units at Nottingham City Hospital and Queens Medical Centre.

The section 29a warning notice demands significant improvements to risk assessments and IT systems within three months.

Conditions on the registration of the provider in respect to the regulated activity; maternity and midwifery services have been imposed under Section 31 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. 

Earlier this year, Leigh Day head of clinical negligence, Suzanne White secured more than £30 million of compensation for a child who was starved of oxygen at birth.

Suzanne White said:

“This is yet another example of unsafe and failing maternity services in yet another UK hospital. It is extremely worrying. As we have said several times in the past year, urgent and effective change is needed, and fast.”

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