Nottingham maternity deaths: Police announce criminal inquiry

3 weeks ago 44

BabyImage source, PA Media

Image caption,

Donna Ockenden's reappraisal followed a long-running run by bereaved families

By Gavin Bevis and Anna Whittaker

BBC News

A constabulary probe is to beryllium launched into dozens of babe deaths and injuries astatine a infirmary trust.

The maternity units astatine Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust are already being examined successful a reappraisal by elder midwife Donna Ockenden.

Nottinghamshire Police said its determination to analyse followed discussions with Ms Ockenden.

The trust's main enforcement said helium was committed to co-operating with the constabulary investigation.

Ms Ockenden's reappraisal volition go the largest ever carried retired successful the UK, with astir 1,800 families contacted.

Her squad is looking into failings that led to babies dying oregon being injured astatine Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen's Medical Centre.

Image source, LDRS

Image caption,

A reappraisal into failings successful maternity attraction astatine hospitals successful Nottingham is ongoing

Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: "On Wednesday I met with Donna Ockenden to sermon her autarkic reappraisal into maternity cases of perchance important interest astatine Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) and to physique up a clearer representation of the enactment that is taking place.

"We privation to enactment alongside the reappraisal but besides guarantee that we bash not hinder its progress.

"However, I americium successful a presumption to accidental we are preparing to motorboat a constabulary investigation.

"I person appointed the Assistant Chief Constable, Rob Griffin, to oversee the preparations and the consequent investigation."

Image caption,

Donna Ockenden has held discussions with Nottinghamshire's main constable

The announcement follows an probe by West Mercia Police, launched successful June 2020, into maternity practices astatine the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

An autarkic probe there, besides conducted by Ms Ockenden, recovered that 201 babies and 9 mothers could person survived with amended maternity attraction implicit a 20-year period.

"We are presently looking astatine the enactment being done successful Shrewsbury and Telford by West Mercia Police to recognize however they conducted their probe alongside Donna Ockenden's reappraisal and immoderate lessons learnt," said Ms Meynell.

"Now we person met with Donna Ockenden we program to clasp preliminary discussions with immoderate section families successful the adjacent future."

Ms Ockenden's reappraisal was prompted by a long-running run by bereaved parents.

Her squad is examining the cases of 1,800 families, with astir 700 existent and erstwhile spot unit making contact.

Image caption,

Jack and Sarah Hawkins said they expected to talk to the main constable soon

A connection issued connected behalf of the campaigning parents said: "We invited the long-awaited quality of this constabulary probe and we are precise grateful to the Chief Constable Kate Meynell for her decision.

"There volition beryllium a wealthiness of accusation from unfortunate families for her squad to use.

"A ample fig of america person alleged crimes and we volition beryllium sharing our grounds with the constabulary to assistance them with their investigations.

"There has been mediocre maternity attraction arsenic good arsenic mediocre probe of that attraction astatine Nottingham University Hospitals Trust implicit galore years."

Jack and Sarah Hawkins, whose babe Harriet died successful 2016, said they asked the spot to notify the constabulary of her decease astatine the time.

They told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "This speech has been repeated aggregate times with elder radical astatine NUH and with the section NHS implicit the years.

"We expect that we volition beryllium gathering with the main constable soon to recognize what the constabulary probe volition mean for each and each 1 of us."

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Mr May said the spot was holding regular meetings with Ms Ockenden

The infirmary trust's main enforcement Anthony May said: "From the clip of my assignment astatine NUH, I person expressed my committedness to the autarkic review.

"I person fixed the aforesaid committedness to the main constable successful respect of immoderate constabulary investigation.

"I besides reiterate the committedness we made to the families progressive astatine our yearly nationalist gathering successful July of an honorable and transparent narration with them."

Mr May, who inherited the ungraded erstwhile helium came successful to bureau past September, added the Care Quality Commission was owed to people an inspection study for the trust's maternity services connected 13 September.

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