Police to launch investigation into maternity cases of 'significant concern' at Nottingham hospitals

Police are launching a criminal investigation into failings in maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.

A police investigation will be carried out into failures in maternity care at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH).

More than 1,200 families were part of an independent review of maternity care at NUH, led by Donna Ockenden, who led a similar investigation at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The decision was announced on Thursday (7 September) by Chief Constable Kate Meynell, who says maternity cases of "potentially significant concern" will be investigated.

The families affected have been calling for a criminal investigation into the failings, and say they "welcome the long-awaited news".

They said: "There will be a wealth of information from victim families for her team to use. A large number of us have alleged crimes and we will be sharing our evidence with the police to assist them with their investigations.

"There has been poor maternity care as well as poor investigation of that care at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust over many years.

"We anticipate that we will be meeting with the Chief Constable soon to understand what the police investigation will mean for each and every one of us.

"We hope and believe it will encompass not just the care of individuals who have dead and seriously harmed babies and mothers, but also what families allege is a far-reaching cover-up by NUHT and NHS staff.”

Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “On Wednesday I met with Donna Ockenden to discuss her independent review into maternity cases of potentially significant concern at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) and to build up a clearer picture of the work that is taking place.

“We want to work alongside the review but also ensure that we do not hinder its progress.

“However, I am in a position to say we are preparing to launch a police investigation

“I have appointed the Assistant Chief Constable, Rob Griffin to oversee the preparations and the subsequent investigation. 

“We are currently looking at the work being done in Shrewsbury and Telford by West Mercia Police to understand how they conducted their investigation alongside Donna Ockenden’s review and any lessons learnt.

“Now we have met with Donna Ockenden we plan to hold preliminary discussions with some local families in the near future.

“Anthony May, Chief Executive of NUH has committed to fully cooperate with this police investigation."

Baby Harriet

Sarah and Dr Jack Hawkins' daughter Harriet died intrapartum on 17 April 2016 as a result of mismanaged labour at NUH.

At the time, both Sarah and Jack worked for NUHT - Jack was a Hospital Consultant and Sarah, a Senior Physiotherapist.

Harriet was born stillborn, so there was no inquest into her death, and the couple were told she had died of an infection.

The parents whistle-blew the problems in maternity services, and are two of many who called for a police investigation into failings in the city's hospitals.

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