Our response to ITV documentary

A documentary broadcast on ITV about maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) shared the experiences of families who were previously affected by poor care in our maternity services.  

Maternity: Broken Trust, broadcast on Sunday 9 June, included interviews with the families and others affected.  

Here we share our response to the documentary, details of the improvements made in our maternity services in recent years and support available for mothers and families affected.  

Statement from our Chief Executive

A statement from Anthony May, Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH): 

“I know we have failed too many women and their families, and I acknowledge the pain and suffering they continue to experience as a result. For that, I am truly sorry.  

“I recognise the strength it takes to share experiences in the way that families have, and I am grateful to all those who have engaged with me since I joined NUH in 2022. I am clear that we must listen to women and families and act on their feedback if we are to continue our improvement and rebuild the trust in our services.  

“We made a public commitment last year to engage in an open and honest way with the families involved in the Independent Maternity Review being led by Donna Ockenden, as well as all women and families within our maternity services. We are determined to meet that commitment and we do not take the families’ engagement for granted.  

“It is my hope that the review will give those involved the answers that they deserve. We support the review fully and continue to work closely with Donna and her team. We receive regular feedback from Donna, which we incorporate into our maternity improvement programme.  

“We have further to go, but the most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published in September 2023 reflects the progress we are making, with an improved rating for our maternity services. The report underlines the improvements we are making to how we listen to women and families, and highlights key improvements in areas such as triage, staffing levels and training, which are due to the hard work and determination of our colleagues.  

“We will continue to strive to give the women and families of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire the maternity service they deserve, and to ensure we have the right environment, culture and support for them and our staff.” 

Improvements in our services 

In the last three years, we have been focused on improving our maternity services through our Maternity Improvement Programme. These improvements include:  

  • Inclusion – Introduction of Cardmedic translation app, community outreach work with underrepresented communities, offering bilingual classes to Urdu speaking women later this year, video and leaflet translations and additional cultural staff training.    

  • Services - Implemented a new maternity digital clinical system - BadgerNet, re-introduced a 24/7 homebirth service, 24/7 Maternity Advice Line launched, staffing numbers have increased, training and skills improvements.    

These improvements, among others, have resulted in recognition in a number of areas:  

  • September 2023: The CQC increased the overall rating for maternity services from inadequate to requires improvement for the first time since 2020 at City Hospital and QMC.    

  • September 2023: The CQC also improved the Trust’s Well-Led rating to requires improvement from inadequate.

  • January 2024: CQC warning notices for maternity and leadership issued by the CQC were lifted. 

  • February 2024 - Latest Care Quality Commission maternity survey scores areas of NUH as significantly improving since 2022.  

  • March 2024: Feedback from women and families in the Friends and Family Test showed that 97% of respondents rate their experience as good or very good.  

Support for women and families

There are many organisations available to offer support when a family experiences baby loss during or soon after pregnancy. Support available locally and nationally include:  

If you received care in our hospitals and have concerns you can contact us for further advice. In the first instance, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS):  

  • Call: 0800 183 0204 (UK) or +44 (0115) 924 9924 ext: 85412 and 82301 (international)  

  • Email: PALS@nuh.nhs.uk  

  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing and would prefer to send us a text message, you can text us on 07812 270 003  

 If you would like to be part of the Independent Maternity Review please contact Donna Ockenden on: nottsreview@donnaockenden.com 

Translation services

If English isn’t your first language, and you would like to have this message translated, please use the ‘ReciteMe’ tool at the top of this page. Select accessibility tools – enable ReciteMe – change language.    

Arabic:   

خدمات الترجمة - إذا لم تكن اللغة الإنجليزية هي لغتك الأولى وترغب  في ذلك  

لترجمة هذه الرسالة ، يرجى استخدام أداة "ReciteMe" في أعلى هذه الصفحة.  حدد أدوات إمكانية الوصول - تمكين ReciteMe - تغيير اللغة  

Polish: 

Usługi tłumaczeniowe- jeśli język angielski nie jest Państwa językiem ojczystym i chcieliby Państwo przetłumaczyć tą wiadomość, prosimy o skorzystanie z narzędzia "ReciteMe" umieszczonego w górnej części tej strony. Proszę wybrać narzędzia dostępności – aktywować ReciteMe – zmienić język.  

Urdu: 

اگر انگریزی آپ کی پہلی زبان نہیں ہے اور آپ اس پیغام کا ترجمہ کرانا چاہتے ہیں، تو براہ کرم اس صفحہ کے اوپری حصے میں 'ReciteMe' ٹول استعمال کریں۔ قابل رسائی ٹولز منتخب کریں - ReciteMe کو فعال کریں - زبان تبدیل کریں۔  

Simplified Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin): 

翻譯服務  –  如果英語不是你的母語,  和你想要把這信息翻譯,  請使用在本頁頂部的 ‘ReciteMe’ 工具.   選擇無障礙工具  –  啟用 ReciteMe  –  更改語言.   

Kurdish: 

خزمەتگوزارییەکانی وەرگێڕان : ئەگەر ئینگلیزی زمانی یەکەمت نییە وە حەزدەکەیت ئەم پەیامە وەربگێڕدرێت تکایە لە بەشی سەرەوەی ئەم لاپەرەییە  ئامرازی   

RecitMe   

بەکار بهێنە ئامرازەکانی توانای دەستگەیشتن هەڵبژێرە ,     

ئامرازی  

 چالاک بکەو - گۆڕینی زمانەکان RecitMe  

Romanian: 

Dacă Engleza nu este limba d-voastră și ați dori să aveți acest mesaj tradus, vă rugăm să folosiți “ReciteMe” de pe partea de sus a paginii.   

Selectați instrumentele de accesare- permite ReciteMe-schimbați limba.  

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We have produced some answers to ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQs), which may help you to understand further. 

Q) Are Maternity Services at Nottingham University Hospitals safe? 

Over the last few years, we have made significant changes to our maternity services. We have further to go, but the most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published in September 2023 reflects the progress we are making, with an improved rating for our maternity services. The report underlines the improvements we are making to how we listen to women and families, and highlights key improvements in areas such as triage, staffing levels and training, which are due to the hard work and determination of our colleagues. 

We will continue to strive to give the women and families of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire the maternity service they deserve, and to ensure we have the right environment, culture and support for them and our staff. 
 

Q) Why has ITV focused on NUH? 

This ITV programme explores the poor experiences of families who were failed by NUH maternity services in the past. It also focuses on the impact on staff experience, where some staff felt unable to speak up about safety concerns or felt that they weren’t being listened to. 

NUH is currently the subject of an Independent Maternity Review being led by Donna Ockenden. We made a public commitment last year to engage in an open and honest way with the families involved in the Independent Maternity Review, as well as all women and families within our maternity services. We are determined to meet that commitment and we do not take the families’ engagement for granted. 

We support the review fully and continue to work closely with Donna and her team. We receive regular feedback from Donna, which we incorporate into our maternity improvement programme. 

 

Q) How has the Maternity service improved? 

Our Maternity Services continue to go through a transformation process and as a Trust we are determined to learn and change when things go wrong. We have already made significant improvements to our maternity services including: 

  • Introduced a 24/7 Maternity Advice Line so that anyone using our service can speak to a dedicated midwife about any concerns before or after birth. 

  • Recruited colleagues with specialist skills into the team to support our maternity patients with complex needs.  

  • Made improvements in the retention and recruitment of maternity staff and introduced additional training.  

  • Now offer a 24-hour service for people that meet the criteria for a home birth. 

  • Separated urgent care from planned appointments to ensure care is timely and prioritised by clinical need. 

  • Introduced a new maternity digital clinical system, Badgernet, to support seamless care across all parts of the maternity pathway. 

  • Launched an Inclusive Maternity Work Group – established to focus on work in this area, including introduction of the Cardmedic translation app. The group has also carried out community outreach work with underrepresented communities, offering bilingual classes to Urdu-speaking women later this year, video and leaflet translations and additional cultural staff training.  

  • Held a listening event with BAME communities to better understand experiences of our maternity services. We have future plans to meet with Muslim Women’s Network and other under-represented groups. 

  • Improved staff engagement through robust governance processes to ensure ward to board reporting, Chair and Chief executive meetings with staff, monthly staff engagement events, Maternity and Neonatal safety champion walkabouts.  

 

Q) How do we know that these improvements are making a difference? 

 

Q) How is the Trust improving? 

Whilst the focus of the programme is on maternity services, how we respond to issues of safety across our hospitals is an important issue for all of our services. Central to this is our work to improve and develop an open and listening culture - a culture that supports staff to speak up and be listened to on issues of patient care and safety.