Nottingham University Hospitals wants to reassure you that we are doing all we can to improve our maternity services
Anthony May, the new Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Trust describes his commitment to the Independent Review into Maternity Services at the Trust and encourages everyone to share their experiences of working for and being cared for at NUH.
When I started my new job, I shared my plans for my first 100 days as Chief Executive of your local hospitals. A priority of this plan is making improvements in our Maternity Services.
Every year around 8,000 people give birth at our hospitals and in the community. For me, it is important that they all receive good care and have a good experience with us. From my visits to our maternity teams and from the feedback we receive, I can see that is the case for the majority of women and families.
However, it is clear that this is not always the case and we have let down too many women, babies and families. We have caused unacceptable distress and pain due to our failings and for that I offer my unreserved apologies.
As I start my new job at NUH, I am determined to make the necessary improvements to our Maternity Services. We have made many improvements already as part of the ongoing Maternity Improvement Programme but we must do more. Importantly, our staff are fully behind these plans to improve and have reassured me of their commitment and determination to continue with the necessary improvements. For my part, I have promised these hard working colleagues the very best support we can provide, as they undertake their demanding and important roles. We have established a dedicated Maternity Oversight Committee, led by one of our Non-Executive Directors, to scrutinise our Improvement Plan, and I will be taking regular reports to the Trust Board, so that the public can monitor our progress.
At the same time, I am committed to working with Donna Ockenden and her Independent Review Team. We are in contact with Donna and I have given a personal commitment to engage fully and openly with the Review. I see the Review as a very important opportunity for all of us involved in providing maternity services but it is particularly important for the affected women and families. I will do all I can to support the Review and my door is open to any woman or family who wants to share their story and concerns with me.
Donna Ockenden has made a public appeal to anyone who has received maternity care at our hospitals, or who know of loved ones who have received care, to speak to her team and share their experiences. I join with Donna in calling for people to engage with this process, including current and former staff at NUH. It is by sharing experiences of being cared for here and working here, that we can make the necessary and lasting improvements to our maternity services. You can contact Donna’s team by email at email@example.com.
For many women and families accessing our services right now, this is an unsettling time. While the Review is ongoing, I want you to know that it will not impact your day-to-day levels of care. Local women and families can be confident that the teams responsible for you are totally committed to providing the safest and best experience possible. Please talk to your midwife or consultant about any concerns you may have. In the past few weeks, I have met many of these colleagues and they stand by, ready to help and offer reassurance and advice.
Importantly, we are not waiting for the Review to conclude and our staff have been working hard to make the necessary improvements now. This includes recruiting more midwives and doctors, investing in new equipment, implementing a maternity advice line so people have a single point of contact before and after birth and improving the training for midwives and doctors in the monitoring of pregnant people and babies. There is, of course, more to do and we must now ensure that these improvements continue at pace.
I commit to do my very best to deliver better services now and in the future, and you can be assured that we will work with Donna Ockenden and her team to help us do that.
Any families who would like to talk about the care they have received should contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 183 0204 or email: PALS@nuh.nhs.uk
About our Maternity services
Starting a family is a big decision for all prospective parents and here at Nottingham University Hospital’s Maternity Services we offer you a warm welcome. Read on to find out how we can support and care for you throughout your journey to parenthood and in those first, very, special days after baby arrives.
Our hospitals provide maternity care for more than 9,000 women every year, however, we treat each birth as the unique and highly personal experience it is. Our maternity staff are passionate about the care they offer and will tailor your pregnancy, birth and post-natal care to meet your individual needs.
We offer a wide range of choice and support for all women and families, mothers and fathers. From midwifery-led birthing units to specialised neonatal care, our staff are there to keep you fully informed of each decision at every stage of your journey. It’s important to us that you understand what’s happening to help you have the positive and enjoyable experience that all mothers deserve.
*Please note : If you are pregnant and think you may need to come into hospital perhaps unexpectedly or in labour, please ring our Maternity Advice Line first on 0115 9709777.
This is so you can speak with a midwife first and they can make sure that you are directed to the best place or provided with best support/ advice straight away.
The Maternity Advice Line is: free to call, open 24 hours a day and is manned by one of our friendly Midwives.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there is a service called "Relay UK" which can support. You can find more information here: https://www.nuh.nhs.uk/contact-and-find-us-contact?
We have been working hard over the last eighteen months to make improvements across our maternity services. With the help of your feedback, support from colleagues across healthcare, local councillors and MPs, and of course the dedication of our staff, we have made a number of improvements.
At the start of March 2022 we welcomed inspectors from our regulators – the Care Quality Commission – back into our services, and they published their report today. They have noted a number of these improvements, however, they also picked up on areas of concern.
We realise this may be hard for you to see if you are planning to have your baby in our care, and it is certainly disappointing for our staff. We know that real improvement takes time – and we believe it will take three years to get back to a service rated as ‘good’ overall. We are committed to improving the pace at which we make the changes needed, while ensuring that any improvements are sustainable.
One of the biggest challenges we face is staffing. Like our neighbouring hospitals, the national shortage of midwives is having a particular impact. We want to reassure you that we are making every effort to recruit as many midwives, doctors and support staff to our team as we can.
However, your safety and our ability to provide high quality care are our top priorities so we cannot wait for additional staff before we make changes. So, we are also thinking about how we do things differently to keep you and your families as safe as possible in our care. For example, you may see nurses in our postnatal areas to help support your recovery after labour. We are offering apprenticeships to our maternity support workers, to enhance the skills they hold to help care for our families, and we may reduce the capacity of our wards to ensure those in our care have the support they need.
Another big change, which we’ve made since the CQC inspection, was to separate our day assessment and triage areas in our hospital. We’re pleased to say that now when you come into our hospitals because of a concern you will not be seen alongside those with routine appointments.
Inspectors rated our caring as ‘good’ and they told us that we also provide good treatment. They highlighted improvements in our management of safety incidents, and said we were focused on the needs of women and families receiving care.
They also highlighted some areas they deemed to be outstanding, saying our specialist midwives went above and beyond for the women they cared for, and some of our scenario training to learn from incidents was also outstanding.
Keeping patients safe and providing high quality care are our top priorities, and we are increasing the pace with which we address the concerns in this report.
We are proud of our teams for the improvements they have put in place, but we realise we have more to do and we are committed to continuing to work with local families and healthcare partners to make the changes required.
You can read the full report on the Care Quality Commission website
If you have any concerns or questions please speak to your midwife.
Sharon Wallis, Director of Midwifery
@ July 1, 2022
Improvements made to Maternity Services
In April 2022, our Triage Service became a stand alone service providing emergency care in pregnancy. We aim to see women within 15 minutes of arrival and since April over 90% of our women and families are seen in triage within 15 minutes.
Maternity Advice Line
In response to your feedback, we now have a team of midwives providing support for you when you need it, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. If you have any concerns during your pregnancy or after baby arrives, you can now talk to our friendly midwives on 0115 9709777.
Our new Maternity Advice Line is now live.
If you have any concerns during your pregnancy or after baby arrives you can now talk to our friendly midwives on 0115 9709777.
Save this number in your phone now!
Our team of midwives will be here to talk to you and direct you to the support you need 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
We’ll be updating everyone’s notes with the new number at your next appointment but don’t worry our old numbers are all still working.
Please still call your community midwifery team for routine appointments, and if you receive a positive Covid-19 PCR test call 0115 962 7956.
We’ve made this change in response to your feedback – thank you!
City Maternity Unit
Tel: 0115 969 1169
City Labour Suite
Tel: 0115 969 1169
Tel: 0115 969 1169
Tel: 0115 969 1169
QMC Maternity Unit
Tel: 0115 924 9924
QMC Labour Suite
Tel: 0115 924 9924
Tel: 0115 924 9924
Tel: 0115 924 9924
Unfortunately we are unable to respond to emails directly relating to your pregnancy as it is important any questions are answered in light of your full pregnancy history, therefore if you have any questions directly relating to your current pregnancy please contact your local midwifery team on the landline number listed at the front of your notes.
Please note there will often be a voice message service but it is checked daily and your call will be returned within 48 hours.
For urgent concerns please call the Midwifery emergency mobile number listed at the front of your notes between 9am - 5pm Monday – Friday or NEMS out of hours service (also listed in the front of your notes) out of office hours.
City Hospital Maternity Unit
Our City Maternity Unit is located near Gate 2, Blue Entrance.
Queen's Medical Centre Maternity Unit
Our QMC Maternity Unit is situated on two floors in East Block.
The antenatal area, B26 ward, the labour suite with midwife-led care unit, maternity theatres and the neonatal unit are on B floor, with C29 ward on C floor.
There is an East Block entrance to the hospital on A floor, and the main entrance which is on B floor, just off Derby Road.
There are limited drop off/pick up bays outside both our unit entrances.