Under-fire NHS trust to publicly apologise to victims of Nottingham maternity care scandal

1,266 families have shared care concerns with the review since September 1

A health boss in the hot seat will publicly apologise to victims of the maternity scandal as the chair of an independent review says the NHS trust has “a lot of learning to do”.

Nick Carver, chairman of the Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust, will apologise on its behalf to parents who were affected by poor maternity care at its annual public meeting on 10 July, the trust said on Wednesday.

It comes after families who campaigned for the independent review demanded a public apology in a closed meeting held on Tuesday, chaired by Donna Ockenden, who is leading a review into its care.

At present, families have to "opt in" to take part in the review. Those families who fought for it to take place say it needs to change to an opt out instead.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ms Ockenden said that it was “absolutely crucial” that families came forward to ensure “the trust learns in the way that it should”.

Ms Ockenden said unless more families are included the inquiry risks being a failure.

Following the meeting, Anthony May, the Trust’s chief executive, said: “We are absolutely committed to open dialogue with the families and last night we listened very carefully to all they had to say. We will now take time to reflect and make sure we can follow up all the points raised.

“I continue to learn a great deal from meeting women and their families and last night was an important opportunity for me to say sorry for any harm and distress caused by failings in our services.

Ms Ockenden is leading the investigation into dozens of babies and mothers who died or were injured at the NHS trust Credit: PA

“We continue to support Donna Ockenden’s independent review because we know how important it is for our learning and local people.

"We are in regular dialogue with Donna’s team and we are determined to improve our services. I know this is an unsettling time for women and families using our maternity services.

“If anyone has concerns or questions about their care, I encourage them to speak to their midwife or consultant.”

In November and January, 1,377 letters were sent to families by the Nottingham Trust. Ms Ockenden has told ITV Central only a quarter have responded. 

She said: "We can not publish a report where women in our community will say, 'here we go again, a report's been published about improving maternity services and our voices weren't heard, our concerns weren't heard and the changes and improvements will happen without us'.

"I think that's really important we can't allow that to happen."

The final report is estimated to be published next March.

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