Nottinghamshire health trust chief commits to new relationship with families affected by failings in maternity care
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Nick Carver was speaking at the trust’s annual public meeting and his comments came in the wake of the trust being fined £800,000 earlier this year after admitting failures in the care of a mother and her baby, who died 23 minutes after being born.
Mr Carver said: “Let me be very clear that, as the public record shows, this is an area where we have failed the families and communities that we exist to serve.
"To make matters worse, having failed them we have too often worsened things by not responding to them appropriately.
“On behalf of the trust board, I commit the trust to a new honest and transparent relationship with the families whose lives have been affected by maternity failings at the trust.
“For too long we have failed to listen to women and families who have been affected by failings in our maternity services.
“This ‘brick wall’ has caused additional pain, and this must change.
“Families should not have to fight to get the answers they deserve and we are committed to gaining their trust, and the trust of all our communities by listening and engaging with them.
“Some families, who we have had the chance to meet have told us they want a meaningful apology that they recognise as meeting their needs, including accountability and a change in the culture.
“We will work with them and other families to make that happen.
“As we considered whether this was the time to make our formal apology, some have asked how, with the review ongoing, we can properly know what we are apologising for.
“We understand that.
“We will work collaboratively to plan for an apology on behalf of the board at the right time that the families recognise as meaningful.
“We recognise there will be other families who haven't had the chance to come forward yet and we will want their views on how we go about putting things right for them too.
“We agree with the families when they tell us that engagement with them will help us make sustainable improvements to our maternity services.”