Documentary highlights terrible consequences of Nottingham Hospitals maternity scandal | Fieldfisher
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Documentary highlights terrible consequences of Nottingham Hospitals maternity scandal

Arti Shah

A hard-hitting documentary went out on television last night (Maternity, Broken Trust, ITV) about the terrible consequences of failure to keep mothers and babies safe at hospitals run by the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUHT). It is a topic that has affected so many of my clients.

I attended the event in February where much of the documentary was filmed. It was described as a gathering for families affected by the failings of the Trust and hearing some of the harrowing accounts of maternity experiences firsthand drew audible gasps. The collective pain in the room was palpable. 

My first case involving maternity negligence at the Nottingham City Hospital was in 2016 and it is heartbreaking to continue to be instructed on cases involving the Trust for harmed and bereaved families eight years on. 

The Ockenden review is ongoing as is the criminal investigation by the police. The latest update on the website recognises 1,904 families have been affected, and interviews with the team continue. 

The report, when it is eventually published, will undoubtedly make for difficult reading. More importantly, however, I hope it is the catalyst needed to bring about much needed change, acknowledge the families' lived experiences, and hold those found responsible for failings to account. 

The immense suffering of the families involved in the Nottingham crisis is effectively summed up in the Guardian's review, that the documentary does not let the absolute misery and horror of the suffering overwhelm the story. 

'It never blinds us to the bigger picture, which is about many things: accountability, the ability of the powerful to protect themselves and the danger of not closely supervising any large institution, however saintly its reputation.'

The Guardian also mentions the absence of justice felt by the families involved: 

'All the families refer to the feeling of not being believed, of being treated like frauds, of feeling as if they were in a nightmare as information was seemingly withheld, manipulated, denied – reality warping in front of them as apologies never come, and no one seems to care about the past, present or future tragedies that will occur if things do not change.'

My hope is that my work and that of the whole team can at least bring some small comfort in this respect.

If you or your baby have been affected by negligent care at Nottingham City Hospital or Queens Medical Centre, please contact me on 03304606739 or email for confidential and no-obligation advice.

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