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Families dismay at interim report plans despite review ‘chaos’

Families involved in a major review into maternity failings at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) have criticised the decision of the review team to press ahead with the publication of an interim report, despite serious concerns about its terms of reference and methodology.

A “thematic review” into NUH was first announced last year after reports that dozens of babies died or were brain damaged after errors were made at the trust over the last decade. More than 460 families have since contacted the review team.

The review has been overseen by NHS England and local commissioners, but, in April, the families called for an independent inquiry and asked for it to be carried out by Donna Ockenden, the senior midwife who chaired the high-profile review of Shropshire maternity services, which reported in March.

Last month, NHSE chief operating officer Sir David Sloman wrote to families and said former strategic health authority chair Julie Dent would be brought in to chair the review. However, Ms Dent stepped down from the role weeks later, citing “personal reasons”. A new chair is yet to be appointed.

Despite these uncertainties, families have been told by the review team that an interim report will be issued shortly.

Gary Andrews, whose daughter Wynter died after being delivered by caesarean section at NUH’s Queens Medical Centre in 2019, said to issue an interim report “seems at odds with the current situation” and risked causing “significant distress” to families.

He added: “We need government to get to grips with this review. Put the brakes on, ensure its structure and design and objectives are fully supported by families, before any interim report can be issued.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 19 May 2022


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