Our specialist solicitors can provide advice and representation in relation to those who are part of the current Ockenden Review in Nottingham and birth injury claims.

When giving birth, we place our full trust in the medical professionals who are responsible for looking after us. Unfortunately, negligence can happen, which can have devastating results. But when systematic errors repeatedly occur, questions must be asked.

The Ockenden Review, chaired by Midwife Donna Ockenden is a review of care afforded to families over a 10 year period in Nottingham relating to their maternity care. The Review was commissioned following a similar inquiry into failings in maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The Review is not the first to be set up in Nottingham. However, families are hopeful that this will bring change and positive change for all prospective families in Nottinghamshire. A previous proposed review was found to be extremely concerning for families, with a narrow perspective and terms of reference. Parents questioned the validity and the ‘buy-in’ from the Trust.

They campaigned for Donna Ockenden to come to Nottingham to review what they believe to be systematic failings in care, a toxic culture, senior management required a systematic culture change and unsafe practice. The Review will look into the care of specific families that fall within the terms of reference from the years 2012 to 2022.

Initially, families were encouraged to come forward and join the Review, and whilst many did, families within the Review felt that there were more families who should be part of the Review, and it was changed to an opt-out. This means that families will now need to ‘opt out’ if they do not want their maternity care considered as part of the Review.

If you or your baby have experienced an injury during childbirth at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, or you are one of the families whose care was identified as being neglected in the Ockenden Review, our expert medical negligence solicitors can step in to provide their support.

We understand how traumatic it can be to experience a birth injury. When people contact us, they are often left feeling emotionally drained, stressed and unsure where to turn to for help. When helping our clients to make birth injury claims, we can take the practical steps to help secure a positive outcome that is sensitive to your circumstances.

Our medical negligence solicitors can offer you:

  • A free initial consultation on your claim
  • No win, no fee funding
  • Legal Aid funding for birth injuries
  • A negotiation-led approach that means most claims are settled out of court
  • Independently accredited expertise you can trust
  • A very high track record of successful claims
  • A sensitive, personal service to support you during this difficult time
  • A free rehabilitation service to aid your child’s or your recovery.

Have a question about the Ockenden Review? Please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions about The Ockenden Review or get in touch, and we will be happy to guide you.

Contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors

Should you have any questions or enquiries regarding the Ockenden Review and failings in maternity care, or you need support in making a maternity care claim, please get in touch with our expert team today.

If you believe we can assist you when pursuing a medical negligence claim, please get in contact with us on 0330 1914835 or fill out our online enquiry form.

Ashtons Legal Medical Negligence Team

At Ashtons Legal, we are a client-centred firm first and foremost. We always strive to provide tailored advice and a bespoke service which is based on the needs of our clients. No matter your circumstances, you will always find that our team are approachable and sensitive.

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors have substantial experience in supporting clients with a range of birth injury claims, including those related to the findings of the Ockenden Review. We have established a strong reputation for securing positive results, with our knowledgeable team having a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of these matters.

We never use any legal jargon and always communicate our procedures in a straightforward manner. We understand that, when our clients come to us for support, they are often feeling stressed and vulnerable, and what they often need is someone to explain the options available to them as simply as possible.

Ashtons Legal is an industry-leading law firm, having been recognised by top client guides the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. We also hold a number of specialist accreditations, including Lexcel, AvMa, Brain Injury Group, APIL and many more.

Senior members of our team are recognised by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) as either Senior Fellows or Senior Litigators. They are on the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel and Sharon Allison, our Head of Medical Negligence, also belongs to the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) Clinical Negligence Panel.

Ockenden Review Background

How to Make a Medical Negligence Claim

Our medical negligence solicitors at Ashtons Legal will be able to guide you through the entire process of making a claim, including those that arise from the Ockenden Review. We always make sure to provide a seamless process that ensures you do not need to go anywhere else for support.

Our medical negligence compensation claims service includes:

  • Assessing your birth injury claim
  • No win, no fee funding
  • Legal Aid funding (if appropriate)
  • Building your birth injury medical negligence case, including access to experienced medical experts to support your claim
  • Drafting and submitting a Letter of Claim to the defendant
  • Mediation processes to reach a settlement
  • Representing you in Court if necessary
  • Access to our free rehabilitation service for ongoing health support.

To make a birth injury claim, get in touch with our solicitors at Ashtons Legal.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Ockenden Review

What is the Review looking at?

The Review will consider the stories and experiences of over 1,700 families over the course of ten years (2012 – 2022) who have been potentially been harmed at the Trust. This is the largest cohort of families and circumstances to be reviewed from terms of reference, which key families who pushed for this review were able to contribute to.

The Ockenden Review is considering cases of:

  • Babies who were stillborn
  • Neonatal deaths from 24 weeks gestation that occur up until 28 days of life
  • Babies who have suffered significant damage
  • Mothers who have died
  • Mothers who have suffered serious harm.

By way of contrast, the Ockenden Review in Shrewsbury spanned 20 years, with 1,500 families being identified. This list above is not exhaustive and shows the depth of the review.

How long will it take?

Due to the significant increase in cases to review, it is likely that any report will not be available before Autumn 2024.

Families are contacted by the Review and invited to meet with independent medical professionals to explain in their own words their experience of maternity services in Nottingham. The families are asked to sign a disclosure form so that the Review can obtain medical records relating to that time.

That medical professional, along with any other required specialists, then independently reviews the care the family received to identify whether the care was not to a standard the family could have expected, whether there are themes in this with other families and whether immediate actions should be taken with the Trust to ensure that any concerns do not repeat themselves.

What has the Ockenden Review found so far?

Donna Ockenden has not made any firm conclusions, which cannot happen until the Review is complete. She and her team have, however, found recurring issues that she has been writing to the Trust on a frequent basis to ensure that immediate action can be taken by the Trust now. Whether or not those changes are implemented remains to be seen as information comes to light that Ockenden has repeatedly raised the same concerns on multiple occasions:

  • Women not being believed when they are in labour
  • Poor translation serviced
  • Notes being ‘lost’ although they have been provided to the review team
  • Manual removal of placenta without sufficient anaesthetic cover
  • Poor provision for blood testing in Ramadan, so that fasts don’t have to be broken
  • Issues relating to genetic testing being the first suggested line of investigation when a baby is born.

What are the four pillars of the Ockenden Review?

Donna Ockenden and her Review are known for their approach to safer maternity care, the four key pillars on which commissioners and providers of maternity and neonatal services must take action. These are:

  • Safe staffing levels
  • A well-trained workforce
  • Learning from incidents
  • Listening to families.

Previous reports have suggested that staff working in maternity services may need additional health and wellbeing support.

Donna Ockenden has noted that these pillars should not be ‘recommendations’ as many reports have previously been conducted where recommendations have not been acted upon.

Ockenden previous reports and conclusions: What is the Ockenden Action Plan?

This is not the first Review or proposed report that Donna Ockenden has been commissioned to undertake. She undertook a Review in Shrewsbury, where the conclusions of that have been widely reported on and many NHST Trusts and maternity services have been asked to implement this from her ‘Action Plan’. The Ockenden Action Plan outlines seven immediate and essential actions for NHS Trusts to take. These are:

  • Enhanced safety – Trusts must work to ensure serious incidents are investigated thoroughly
  • Listening to women and families – Women and families must be listened to, and their voices heard
  • Staff training and working together – Staff who work together must also train together
  • Managing complex pregnancy – There must be robust pathways in place for managing women with complex pregnancies
  • Risk assessment throughout pregnancy – Staff must ensure that women undergo a risk assessment at each stage of the pregnancy pathway
  • Monitoring fetal wellbeing – All maternity services must appoint a dedicated Lead Midwife and Obstetrician with demonstrated expertise to champion best practice
  • Informed consent – All Trusts must ensure women have access to accurate information to enable an informed choice.

Contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors

Should you have any questions or enquiries regarding the Ockenden Review or failings in maternity care, or you need support in making a maternity care claim, please get in touch with our expert team today.

If you believe we can assist you when pursuing a medical negligence claim, please get in contact with us on 0330 1914835 or fill out our online enquiry form.


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