Nottinghamshire Police to launch investigation into maternity cases of ‘potentially significant concern’

Nottinghamshire Police is to launch an investigation into possible harm at maternity units across the region’s hospitals.

Sep 7, 2023
By Paul Jacques

Up to 1,800 cases are already being examined as part of an independent review by Donna Ockenden, making it the largest of its kind into maternity services in NHS history.

Nottinghamshire Police said its decision to launch a criminal inquiry followed discussions with Ms Ockenden, who identified cases of “potentially significant concern”.

Ms Ockenden is chairing an inquiry into Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust after a number of baby deaths and injuries across Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital.

Announcing the investigation on Thursday (September 7), Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “On Wednesday I met with Donna Ockenden to discuss her independent review into maternity cases of potentially significant concern at NUH NHS Trust and to build up a clearer picture of the work that is taking place.

“We want to work alongside the review but also ensure that we do not hinder its progress.

“However, I am in a position to say we are preparing to launch a police investigation

“I have appointed the Assistant Chief Constable, Rob Griffin to oversee the preparations and the subsequent investigation.”

The announcement follows an investigation by West Mercia Police into the care of mothers and babies who died or suffered serious harm in the maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust after an independent review, also conducted by Ms Ockenden.

Its investigation, named Operation Lincoln, was initially launched in 2017 to explore whether there was evidence to support a criminal case against the Trust or any individuals involved.

However, following the release of Ms Ockenden’s final report on maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust in 2022, West Mercia Police said there had understandably been “significant interest in the number of cases we are reviewing as part of Operation Lincoln”.

The force said it had identified 823 cases since October 2003 (the formation of the Trust) with around 700 remaining an active part of its investigation.

Ms Meynell said: “We are currently looking at the work being done in Shrewsbury and Telford by West Mercia Police to understand how they conducted their investigation alongside Donna Ockenden’s review and any lessons learnt.

“Now we have met with Donna Ockenden we plan to hold preliminary discussions with some local families in the near future.”

She added that Anthony May, chief executive of NUH, “has committed to fully cooperate with this police investigation”.

Related News

Select Vacancies

Chief of Police

Gibraltar Defence Police

Assistant Chief Constables

Scottish Police Authority

Constables on Promotion to Sergeant

Greater Manchester Police

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional