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Due to an investigation by The Independent and Channel 4 News, it has recently been uncovered that dozens of babies have died or been left with brain damage after errors made during childbirth at Nottingham University Hospital.
Nottingham University Hospital is currently facing over a dozen clinical negligence claims by bereaved families. The trust has paid out more than £91m in damages and legal costs since 2010. Amongst these claims, there were 46 cases of babies left with permanent brain damage, 19 stillborns and 15 deaths.
Documentation demonstrates that in some cases, key medical notes were missing or never written, while others were completely inaccurate. A letter came to light during an inquest into the death of a baby, raising ‘grave concerns for the patients and staff and stated that the senior management at the trust had not listened to staffing level fears’. During this time there were 35 midwifery vacant positions, rising to 73 in December 2020.
Data has shown that a total 201 clinical negligence claims have been launched against the trust’s maternity services since 2010, with almost half lodged in the last 4 years. There were 12 delays or failures to diagnose conditions, 10 cases of inadequate nursing care and a total of 16 cases involving staff who failed to monitor the second stage of labour when women were actively giving birth.
Comparing hospital patient data for maternity from Nottingham Hospitals against more than 20 other similar major hospitals, conveyed that the trust had a consistently above average rate of spontaneous or natural births compared to other trusts for every year since 2010. The hospitals rate of instrumental births switched from being above average until 2013 when it fell to below average every year since. This data indicates that women are being left longer to achieve a natural birth at Nottingham Hospital - potentially increasing risks for patients.
In 2020 the Care Quality Commission identified failures of staff to ‘interpret, classify and escalate’ concerning heart rate traces for babies. They stated that this failure has led to several incidents where babies suffered harm or death as a direct result.
This tragic discovery makes it clear that the families of the newborn babies who suffered due to the inadequate care from this trust deserve support and answers. Proper investigation and intrinsic changes are required to prevent further deaths or serious injury due to neglectful care.
If you or a loved one have experienced neglectful and inadequate care during childbirth we at Ramsdens Solicitors are here to assist. Our specialist clinical negligence team are here to support you every step of the way through your claim. For a confidential discussion, please contact the Ramsdens Clinical Negligence team on 0113 877 1834 or email Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org