Grieving and injured mothers want police investigation into Nottingham's maternity services

  • ITV News Central Health Correspondent Nancy Cole spoke to mothers calling for change at Nottingham's hospitals

The families affected by maternity care failings at Nottingham's hospitals say they want a police investigation into whether anyone is criminally culpable.

A review led by senior midwife Donna Ockenden into deaths and injuries affecting hundreds of babies and mothers marks its first anniversary today.

In a joint statement families said:

"To date, not a single person - clinical staff, managerial staff, board member, commissioner, governance lead - has been held to account for the known, avoidable and predictable failures.

"How is this possible? Local coroners have concluded 'neglect' in multiple inquests.

"This, along with the high number of medical negligence cases, should surely trigger disciplinary processes."

Families are hoping to meet with Nottinghamshire Police's Chief Constable, Kate Meynell, to discuss whether a criminal investigation could be launched.

'It's about what's right being done.'

Felicity Benyon from Mansfield had a planned c-section in 2015. She later found out her bladder had been cut out by accident. She says although she accepts the Trust is improving, her hope is "to really find out what happened."

She added, "So many of us still don't really understand what happened or how it was allowed to happen.

"What really went wrong? How has it ended up being that NUH (Nottingham University Hospitals) has had so many cases of mums and babies being harmed and mums and babies not being here any more?

"The main thing and the hardest thing is accountability. The fact that there are people who made these mistakes that absolutely were preventable, and there's been no accountability.

"It's about what's right being done.

"It's about if someone has broken the law, they need to be held accountable.

"If someone has caused harm and danger and they are potentially going to cause harm and danger again, we need to prevent that from happening.

ITV News Central has contacted Nottinghamshire Police for comment.

Families say the review so far has brought "much-needed relief."

Natalie Needham lost her son Kouper in 2019 from respiratory complications. He lived for just 24 hours.

"The relief, that we're finally being heard, especially having someone of that authority just on our side.

"Finally being listened to, and getting answers."

This is the largest maternity review of its kind with 1,800 families involved. More than 650 staff have also come forward to highlight their concerns.

'Whatever the cost, whatever it takes'

The Trust has pledged to publicly apologise to affected families in due course and the chief executive Anthony May says improvements will be made "whatever the cost, whatever it takes".

He said: "We work closely with the review team led by Donna Ockenden and meet regularly with the team to listen to the feedback, respond accordingly and inform our improvement plan.

"We are determined to fulfil the commitment we made in July to an open and honest relationship with the families involved in the review and all women and families within our maternity services.

"We still have a long way, but our communities can be assured that maternity services are improving and we are making sustainable progress in a number of areas to benefit the safety and wellbeing of women, families and staff as part of our Maternity Improvement Programme.

"We must continue to improve because people depend upon us and what we do here, and for them the services have got to be good, and the experience has to be good."