Opt Out 2023

I hope you are well. My name is Donna Ockenden.  I am writing to introduce myself as the person leading the independent review of maternity cases of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (the “Review”). 

Please do accept my apologies if my contacting you has caused you any worry or distress, but I want to explain what we are doing and how you can be involved.  

This letter contains important information about the Review and how to opt-out if you wish to do so, so it is important you read this letter carefully and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

The purpose of the Review is to learn from families’ maternity experiences during their time at the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (the “Hospital”) and to improve the quality and safety of maternity care. When the Review has been completed we will publish a report explaining our findings and making recommendations for future maternity care at the Hospital and possibly across England. 

The Hospital has identified that your care may have been inadequate and so it is important for the Review to know about your care so that we can try to make maternity care safer for families in future. The Hospital has given me your name and contact details so that I can explain to you what we are doing and how you can help. 

It is important to know that the Review is completely independent of the Hospital and that we will respect your confidentiality at all times. We are now working in a new way and will be contacting you directly, although previously you may have received a letter from the Hospital. 

How does this affect you?

It is entirely up to you as to whether you want to be included in the Review or not. If you do want to be included we will begin looking at your medical records in order to assess whether what happened to you was avoidable.  If it was, then we will look to see whether the Hospital learned from your experiences and whether lessons can be learned for the future.  

 Your maternity records will be looked at by a midwife and an obstetrician from our independent team. We may also take advice from other specialist doctors in our team such as neonatologists or anaesthetists.

By looking at many cases, including yours, we hope to identify what happened at Queens Medical Centre and City Hospital. The main period we will be looking at is from 2012 to date, although we may also consider some serious earlier cases. We will then be able to make recommendations for how the maternity service can be made better and safer for everyone in the future.

How can we help each other?

It is important for us to make contact with families who may have received inadequate maternity care at the Hospital. Sometimes families are able to give us more information than is available just from their medical records, and to explain their experiences in more detail. We want to make sure that our Report accurately describes the experiences of families during their time at the Hospital, afterwards and the effects it has had on them. We understand from other families that many of them have also found it helpful to talk with us about what happened.

If you would like to be more involved in the Review, there may be an opportunity to meet with me or a member of the Review team later on in the year. This can be done face-to-face in Nottingham or online (over the internet).  We can help you set up any internet meeting if that is what you decide you prefer. At the end of the Review we can provide feedback to you about our assessment of your case, if you want to receive that.

Please be aware that due to the volume of work the Review is likely to be complete and feedback will start to be available at some time in 2025. We will keep you generally updated about the progress of the Review but we will not be able to tell you about your case until we have finished our work.

If you do not want to meet with or talk to us, you do not have to. It is completely your choice how much or how little involvement you have with the independent maternity Review. I have explained below how to opt out of the Review if that is what you want to do.

What happens next?

You do not need to do anything unless you either wish to opt-out of joining the Review or you would like to meet or talk to us.  

If you would like to meet or talk to us then please let us know. You can:

  • email us at [email protected]; or
  • complete the enclosed letter and send it back to us in the stamped addressed envelope we have sent you; or
  • call us on 01243 786993 and speak to one of our team.

If you do not want to join the review:

If you do NOT want us to look at your medical records at all then please let us know within the next 4 weeks (by Wednesday 25th October). You can do this by using the information in the box above. 

If we do not hear from you within this time my team will start looking at your records.  

Please note that if you opt-out of the Review we will not review your medical records, you will not have an opportunity to meet with the Review, your case will not have any effect on the Review’s conclusions, and you will not receive individual feedback about your case.

Please note that, whatever you decide, you can change your mind later on. If you opt-out after we have already commenced our review of your medical records, we will exclude your case from the Review going forwards, if it is possible for us to do so at that stage.

Will we share your information?

Please be assured that no information that identifies you or your family will be included in the final report. During the Review your information will be shared within the Review team but will be treated as highly confidential.

It is however important to explain that we might need to share information about your case for example if any criminal, regulatory or other legal investigation takes place in future as a result of our work. This could happen if we believe that any member of staff who looked after you provided such poor care that it means that we should inform the professional organisation that they belong to (for instance, the Nursing and Midwifery Council for nurses and midwives or the General Medical Council for doctors) or that we should inform the police. If this happens, then we will let you know. 

What support is there?

We know that for some families, what they went through when they received maternity care was very difficult. There is a wide range of psychological help and therapies available for all families who are part of the Review, and we can help you to access this support.  

Information on the Family Psychological Support Service can be found here https://fpssnottingham.co.uk/. Please let us know if you need this at any time during the Review. 

Please do get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns, we will always do our best to help you.

 With all good wishes

Donna Ockenden 


Independent Maternity Review – Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust

The Maternity Review Team: Tel: 01243 786993. Monday to Friday 8.00am – 5.00pm.

Please note that for a limited period of three weeks our office will be staffed on the weekends. 9.00am-5.00pm Saturdays and 10.00am – 4.00pm Sundays. Beginning Monday 25th September (including Saturday 30th September, Sunday 1st October, Saturday 7th October, Sunday 8th October, Saturday 14th October and Sunday 15th October)