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20 December 2022

New investigation into NHS maternity services launched

2 mins

Maternity services have been a frequently discussed topic over recent months given the emerging evidence that maternity care in the NHS is often substandard.

The Ockenden review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust published in March 2022 brought the issue to centre stage when the report found that 201 babies and nine mothers could, or would have survived if they had been provided with better care between the years 2000 and 2019.

A more recent investigation by The Independent and Channel 4 News began in 2022 into the problems within the NHS maternity services in the last ten years, at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The ambit of the investigation has since rapidly expanded and could become the largest NHS maternity review to date, overtaking that of the March 2022 Ockenden review.

Donna Ockenden, who led the review published in March 2022, will chair this fresh independent review that is estimated to produce a final report in March 2024.

We are pleased that maternity services are increasingly in the spotlight as of late. The increased attention drawn to failures in maternity care will hopefully emphasise the need for significant investment in the maternity workforce and multi-professional training. We hope that the findings of this review will identify important learning opportunities and improvements that can be made immediately to avoid repeat incidents and ensure the safety of babies and mothers.

As always, our thoughts are with the families of loved ones injured, and those who have traumatically died. We hope that this investigation will go some way toward allaying the concerns of bereaved parents who have felt ignored until now and that they find support and companionship within the group of 1,000 families contacted by the Trust in relation to maternity incidents so far.

For more information about our Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team, visit our web page here.

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