A review into failures at hospitals in Nottingham is expected to uncover the biggest maternity scandal in the NHS’s history. The inquiry chair Donna Ockenden – who also released a damning report into Shropshire maternity services last year – is reviewing the maternity units at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital after reports of baby deaths and injuries. Ockenden began the inquiry in September last year and – so far – 674 families have consented to have their case examined. Ockenden has said those who have come forward aren’t “anywhere near a representative sample of the rich diversity” of Nottingham. To broaden the spread, NHS England is now contacting all affected families to say they have to opt-out of consenting to the review. The bigger question: will Ockenden’s findings change anything? The NHS is chronically short of midwives and last week the government rejected the women and equalities committee’s recommendation to increase the annual budget for maternity services to help end disparities in maternal mortality.
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