Households impacted by alleged maternity failures at Nottingham College Hospitals have referred to as for the chair of the assessment into the scandal-hit Shrewsbury hospital to guide a brand new inquiry into the incidents.
A bunch of greater than 100 households and people have written to well being secretary Sajid Javid asking for Donna Ockenden to chair a brand new unbiased inquiry into instances of alleged failures in maternity care.
Ms Ockenden final week delivered a damning report following the most important assessment into the maternity scandal at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Belief, which noticed greater than 200 child deaths.
The brand new assessment proposed by households would change the present NHS-led investigation, which was introduced in July 2021 after The Unbiased and Channel 4 revealed tens of millions had been paid out by the belief over 30 child deaths and 46 incidents of infants left completely brain-damaged.
The NHS assessment, dubbed an “unbiased thematic assessment”, is being led by native NHS commissioners and NHS England.
The households mentioned they haven’t any confidence within the present assessment course of or these main it, and really feel they need to communicate out about their issues now “if there’s any probability of stopping extra dying and hurt to infants, moms, and households”.
They added the present NHS assessment is “shifting with the viscosity of treacle”.
The letter to Mr Javid mentioned: “Traditionally there have been opinions, nothing has modified. Coroners have publicly raised issues, nothing has modified.
“If households are to be safeguarded, actual and impactful intervention is required. The thematic assessment thus far has been lower than impactful, understaffed and shifting with the viscosity of treacle. How can the general public think about this course of? The one reply is Donna Ockenden and a Public Inquiry.”
The NHS assessment has been working for six months and is because of publish a report later this yr.
Households, supported by Switalskis Solicitors, mentioned they’ve “no confidence” within the thematic assessment or the crew main it. They mentioned they’d raised “vital concern” over the independence of the present assessment, which was commissioned by former staff of the belief.
Additionally they mentioned not sufficient was being finished to advertise the assessment or attain out to households as it is just within the final two weeks that tons of got here ahead.
The letter added: “This assessment at present has three scientific leads. The Ockenden Maternity Evaluation employed 76 clinicians. The present crew are unprepared and lack skilled management to deal with a assessment of this magnitude.
“If we contemplate that in six months solely 26 households have been spoken to, how can the general public have religion that the opposite 361 households is not going to solely be listened to, however purposeful conclusions made? It’s going to both be rushed or drag on, whereas Donna Ockenden has the crew, and a public inquiry has definitive timelines. The affected households and basic public deserve that certainty.”
Based on an announcement from the households, there have been 34 maternity investigations following opposed occasions on the belief since 2018. These embody three maternal deaths, 22 infants who confronted potential extreme mind harm, 4 neonatal deaths and 5 stillbirths.
A earlier investigation by watchdog the Healthcare Security Investigation Department (HSIB) has beforehand made 74 suggestions to the belief concerning enhancements in maternity care.
The CQC beforehand rated maternity providers on the belief “insufficient” in 2020 and in accordance with studies in March 2022 issued a warning discover which raised issues about a rise in stillbirths and midwives appearing outdoors of their competence in relation to reviewing scans.
Senior Physiotherapist Sarah and Dr Jack Hawkins, who beforehand labored for NUH, are one of many households main the decision.
The couple blew the whistle over issues in maternity on the belief following the dying of their daughter Harriet, who died on 17 April because of “miss managed labour.”
Harriet’s dying was attributable to delays in recognising Sarah was in energetic labour – this went on for six days as she was repeatedly advised by midwives to not attend hospital. When she was ultimately admitted, an ultrasound revealed Harriet had already died.
There have been a number of incident investigations into Harriet’s dying and a closing assessment in the end concluded her dying was “nearly actually preventable” and the belief has accepted legal responsibility.