Covid-19 Update: We are continuing to provide our usual services whilst maintaining the safety of clients and colleagues. Read our latest update here.

Complete the form below to ask us a question or make an enquiry. We’ll get back to you via phone or email as soon as possible.

Insights

Errors at one of UK’s largest hospitals leads to death of dozens of babies

Posted on 01st July 2021 in Medical Negligence

Posted by

Endurance Arthur

Partner and Solicitor
Errors at one of UK’s largest hospitals leads to death of dozens of babies

An investigation over the past decade at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust by The Independent and Channel 4 News uncovered repeated patterns of poor care, examples of botched inquiries and a failure to learn lessons that could keep mothers and their newborns safe.

Nottingham, which has one of the largest NHS budgets in the UK, is currently facing at least a dozen clinical negligence claims by bereaved families of babies who died or were left brain-damaged after errors during childbirth.

It was revealed that the trust has already paid out more than £91m in damages and legal costs since 2010, including 46 cases of babies left with permanent brain damage and 19 stillbirths as well as 15 deaths.

Data obtained by The Independent shows 201 clinical negligence claims against the trust’s maternity services since 2010, with almost half lodged in the last four years.

Of the 84 closed cases, the NHS paid out £79.3m in compensation, and a further £12.3m in legal costs. The true value of the negligence claims is likely to be significantly higher as data may exclude future payments to support the lives of disabled children.

Documents show that key medical notes were missing, completely inaccurate or even never made, with the trust failing to properly investigate some deaths for months and, in instances when it did, details were wrong or reviews were changed by senior management to lessen the criticism. Last year, the Care Quality Commission identified a failure of staff to “interpret, classify and escalate” concerning heart rate traces for babies.

The avoidable deaths and injuries combined with fears of a lack of action have drawn parallels with maternity units at Shrewsbury and East Kent hospitals, both of which are the subject of independent inquiries.

 

Endurance Arthur, Co-Head of our Medical Negligence team commented: “The story has sickening echoes of the tragedies which occurred at the Shrewsbury Maternity hospital and East Kent NHS trust in which grief-stricken parents forced to fight to find out the truth about what happened to their child.  Repeated incidents of substandard care were followed by attempts to cover up and a failure to learn from previous mistakes.”

“The difference here is that in 2018 midwives on the unit at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre wrote to their bosses raising concerns that staffing levels were woefully inadequate and could be "the cause of a potential disaster". It seems their letter was chillingly prescient.”

“Many families have suffered avoidable harm with dead or very seriously injured mothers and babies leading to millions of pounds in compensation payable by the NHS.”

 

How can Tozers help?

For the full investigation please read the report from The Independent.

If you or your family have suffered because of medical negligence, we’ll help you to rebuild your life for the future. Contact us today and let us help you.

Contact our legal experts


 

Paper plane

 

Get the latest news straight from our legal experts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve current, dedicated, suppport and guidance from our solicitors straight to your inbox, wherever you are.

Company & Industry

Related Insights

Insights

New ‘Google Maps for Graves’ project

Posted on 20th October 2021 in Later Life Planning

There is a project that has been termed “Google maps for graves” which intends to map and photograph the Church of England’s 19,000 church graveyards, with the aim of recording every grave, headstone and memorial.

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Associate and Chartered Legal Executive
Insights

Estate planning for blended families

Posted on 20th October 2021 in Family Law, Probate & Wills

The increase in the number of families, comprising of different families that have been linked by new relationships, can complicate the process of inheritance, the creation and administration of Wills, and the distribution of estates.

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Associate and Chartered Legal Executive