Parents of baby who lived for 23 minutes say others have have avoided harm because of her story

  • ITV News Central Health Correspondent Nancy Cole has this exclusive report

The parents of a little girl who lived for just 23 minutes due to multiple failings at a Nottingham hospital say there are babies alive and mothers who've avoided harm because of her story. 

Wynter Andrews died in her mother's arms in September 2019 at the Queens Medical Centre. 

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust was handed a record fine of £800,000 for failure to provide safe care for Wynter and her mum Sarah - the largest ever given to an NHS Trust over maternity care.

Wynter's case has been referenced in Parliament as a 'watershed moment', with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling out the need for "transparency" to "seek answers and make improvements" in maternity care.

Gary Andrews, Wynter's dad, said he hopes it can be an end to families campaigning for the truth. 

"I remember being in the bereavement suite and being told, you know, we can't see anything that's gone wrong here," he said.

"To being raised at such a high level of the highest level of government and being commented by the prime minister.

"It does need to be a watershed moment I'd hate to think that any other families need to campaign this hard just to be heard and just to make those changes happen."

Gary Andrews, Wynter's dad, said he hopes it can be an end to families campaigning for the truth. Credit: ITV News Central

Almost 1,000 families and over 400 staff have contacted Nottingham's independent maternity review, led by senior midwife Donna Ockenden.

Wynter's parents want to see greater accountability from regulators to bring change.

Gary said: "At it's simplest level restoring community confidence in our maternity services, that will be the CQC  going back in and saying that actually things are improving and perhaps processes in the future to kind of listen to families earlier on."

Sarah said: "A big thing will see the regulators, such as the CQC and the GMC stepping up and taking more action, taking more accountability for the staff and really understanding what they need to do to help maternity services not just in Nottingham but across the whole country change."

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has reiterated its apologies to Mr and Mrs Andrews. 

Michelle Rhodes, NUH Chief Nurse, said: "We are committed to making the necessary and sustainable improvements to provide the best possible care for women and families who use our maternity services.

"This is why we will continue to do all we can to support the work of Donna Ockenden's independent review.

"This commitment includes ensuring that family voices are heard and we are encouraging people who have significant or serious concerns about their maternity care, to contact the review team.

"We are also encouraging current and former staff who work directly in or closely with our maternity services, to come forward and engage with the review.

"Importantly, we are not waiting for the review to conclude and our staff have been working hard to make the necessary improvements now."

Wynter Andrews died in her mother's arms in September 2019 at the Queens Medical Centre. Credit: ITV News Central

A GMC spokesperson said: "We are working with the independent review by Donna Ockenden, and we will take action where there is evidence that doctors pose a risk to patients or public confidence.  

"We need to enable better cultures where women and families are listened to. Leaders also need to create compassionate, safe and supportive working environments, where multidisciplinary teams can thrive and speaking up is the norm.

"We are working closely with other regulators and providers to better identify high risk maternity services, tackle unprofessional behaviours and further promote an open and just learning culture across the entire multidisciplinary team.

"That includes proactively sharing intelligence with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) so that emerging issues are identified and acted upon more quickly."

A CQC spokesperson, said: "We are fully committed to working together with women using maternity services and their families, staff working in maternity services, and partner organisations to help achieve the improvements in safety we know are necessary and to ensure the best possible care for all women and their babies.

"As part of that work, last year CQC began a programme of maternity inspections which has a strong focus on capturing the experience of women and families.

"These inspections will provide an up to date assessment of the quality and safety of all NHS hospital maternity services across England and allow us to identify what is working well so that we can share that good practice and support learning and improvement at a local and national level."