Nottinghamshire Police to investigate maternity cases ‘of potentially significant concern’


Nottinghamshire Police to investigate maternity cases 'of potentially significant concern'

Nottinghamshire Police is preparing to launch an investigation into maternity cases of “potentially significant concern”.

Chief Constable Kate Meynell said the cases relate to Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUHT).

The investigation has been launched after a meeting with senior midwife Donna Ockenden to discuss her independent review into services in the city “and to build up a clearer picture of the work that is taking place”.

Ms Meynell said: “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.”

The trust was ordered to make “significant and immediate improvements” to its maternity services amid growing concerns mothers and babies were not safe.

In a statement, families affected said they welcomed the “long-awaited news of the police investigation”.

Daniel Abed Khalife – escaped terror suspect latest: Chief inspector calls for prison to shut as pictures released of van fugitive used to escape

There will be a “wealth of information from victim families” for the police to use in their investigation, the statement added.

“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 NUHT for many years,” the families alleged.

They believe there has been a “far-reaching cover-up” by both NUHT and NHS staff, the statement said.

Nottinghamshire Police to investigate maternity cases 'of potentially significant concern'

Jack and Sarah Hawkins, who fought to prove NUHT’s errors led to the death of their stillborn daughter, described their relief at Ms Ockenden’s review being launched last year.

The family statement released after the police investigation was announced on Thursday added: “Sadly, referral to the police was first mentioned in whistleblowing letters and conversations by Dr Jack and Sarah Hawkins in 2016, following the death of their daughter, Harriet, on 17 April that year.

“They specifically asked the leaders of the NUHT to notify the police of her avoidable death, not just because of the care, but because of the behaviours of staff who were supposed to investigate and learn from her death.

“This conversation has been repeated multiple times with senior people at NUHT and with the local NHS over the years.”

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which is representing families concerned about the care mothers and babies received at hospitals run by NUHT, said on Thursday: “All they want is for the most thorough investigations to be held so they can be provided with all of the answers they deserve.

“The families we represent have either suffered the heartbreak of losing a child or their child has been left with disabilities for which they’ll require life-long care and support. We also represent mums who have been injured.

“They welcome the police’s intention to investigate.”

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin has been appointed to oversee the preparations and the subsequent investigation.

The chief executive of NUH, Anthony May, has committed to fully cooperate with the police probe, Ms Meynell said.

‘Unimaginable loss and trauma’

In a statement released last week, Mr May, who joined the trust last year, vowed to “do my very best to deliver better services now and in the future”.

He said: “Throughout the year, I have heard from affected families who have suffered unimaginable loss and trauma and who have been brave enough to share their experiences with me.

“For this, I am immensely grateful – it has been humbling and informative.

“My colleagues and I work closely with the review team led by Donna Ockenden, to ensure transparent and full engagement.

“This includes meeting regularly with Donna in order to listen and take action on feedback.”

Nottinghamshire Police to investigate maternity cases 'of potentially significant concern'

Ms Ockenden led a similar review into maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

In 2022 she concluded that catastrophic failures could have led to the deaths of more than 200 babies.

A “climate of fear” stopped staff speaking out, a whistleblower who worked at the trust for almost 30 years claimed.

Spreaker This content is provided by Spreaker, which may be using cookies and other technologies. To show you this content, we need your permission to use cookies. You can use the buttons below to amend your preferences to enable Spreaker cookies or to allow those cookies just once. You can change your settings at any time via the Privacy Options. Unfortunately we have been unable to verify if you have consented to Spreaker cookies. To view this content you can use the button below to allow Spreaker cookies for this session only. Enable Cookies Allow Cookies Once

Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts

Ms Meynell said Nottinghamshire Police is looking at the work being done in Shrewsbury and Telford by West Mercia Police to understand how officers there conducted their investigation alongside Donna Ockenden’s review and any lessons learnt.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.