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More work needed to improve city's maternity units, health regulator says.


More needs to be done to bring maternity units at Nottingham’s two main hospitals up to standard, health regulator inspectors have said.

A new report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) into Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust says that it still has "some areas to address" after finding ‘serious concerns’ and rating the trust ‘inadequate’ in 2020.

The report comes after Nottinghamshire assistant coroner, Laurinda Bower, said the death of baby, Wynter Andrews, minutes after she was born, was "a clear and obvious case of neglect.”

Laurinda Bower also revealed a 2018 whistle-blowing letter from midwives to trust bosses outlining concerns about staffing levels as "the cause of a potential disaster.”

The CQC carried out an unannounced inspection at the hospital following the concerns expressed during the inquests. Inspectors found some staff had not completed training and "did not always understand how to keep women and babies safe", and issued a warning notice about its concerns.

The regulator’s latest report, based on an inspection in April 2022, found improvements in how women at risk of deterioration were identified and that documentation and monitoring was also better.

However the CQC found discrepancies between online and paper record keeping and said there were multiple systems in place that led to duplication and errors.

Wynter Andrews died 23 minutes after being born on 15 September 2019 at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre.

Her inquest heard she might have survived if staff had spotted “multiple missed opportunities.”

Her mother Sarah, who, along with another family, had called for a public inquiry into the performance of the maternity units, welcomed the improvements and said she hoped they continued.

The CQC said the trust must ensure risk assessments and risk management plans are completed in accordance with national guidance and IT systems must be effectively used to monitor and improve the quality of care provided to women and babies.

Head of the CQC's latest inspection, Sara Dunnett, said she was pleased the trust has responded to some issues  and that inspectors would continue to monitor the trust closely.

She said: "The trust has more work to do regarding how it captures, records and uses patient information in these services so that staff have a full picture of people's healthcare needs. This includes ensuring information about women who may be affected by serious mental health issues is appropriately escalated."

Interim chief nurse at the trust, Sarah Moppett, said: "We are wholeheartedly committed to improving our maternity service and making it one that we can all be proud of.

"We are pleased the CQC has recognised the hard work of our teams to meet the requirements of its improvement notice.

"However, there is still a lot more to do to deliver the best care for local families and we are committed to investing the time and resources needed to achieve this."