The safety of maternity services has not been far from the news of late, with a growing number of examples of poor care, with recent examples including East Kent Hospitals University Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.
On Wednesday 11 August, Donna Ockenden, Chair of the Independent Maternity Review at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, spoke as part of a panel for The Independent’s special webinar The NHS Maternity Scandal: Inside a crisis. This panel was chaired by Shaun Lintern and the other panelists included: Dr Eddie Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and James Titcombe, a patient safety campaigner and bereaved father.
You can see the article in The Independent and a recording of the webinar here. The link will take you to an article where you can register to watch the webinar free of charge.
Detectives from West Mercia Police have been given £4.6 million in funding from Home Office.
NMC response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on the Safety of Maternity Services in England
On Tuesday 6 July, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) published their response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on the Safety of Maternity Services in England. You can view the Committee’s report here.
The Health and Social Care Committee’s report outlines that whilst the NHS offers some of the safest maternal and neonatal outcomes in the world, there remains worrying variation in the quality of maternity care which means that the safe delivery of a healthy baby is not experienced by all mothers.
Since shocking failures were uncovered at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust there has been a concerted effort to improve the safety of maternity services in England. However, major concerns have since been raised at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust and East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. There can be no complacency when it comes to improving the safety of maternity services and it is imperative that lessons are learnt from patient safety incidents.
The report addresses the following issues related to maternity safety in England:
· Supporting maternity services and staff to deliver safe maternity care
· Learning from patient safety incidents
· Providing safe and personalised care for all mothers and babies
The key points of the NMC response are:
The impact of poor maternity care on women and their families can be devastating. But such dreadful experiences are not inevitable. As the Committee highlights, all of us working in maternity services need to focus on delivering positive and sustainable improvements necessary to deliver safe, kind and effective care every time.
As the professional regulator for key members of the maternity multi-disciplinary team, the NMC has an important role to play, particularly in supporting the implementation of our Future Midwife standards in midwifery education and practice.
We welcome the Committee’s recommendation that we should focus on helping to end the blame culture. We will always act to protect the public where necessary, but professionals must feel confident about speaking up when mistakes happen so they don’t happen again. Our new approach to fitness to practise and the promise of regulatory reform mean we can do just that.
The families whose cherished dreams have been shattered and maternity services staff who want to provide great care deserve nothing less.
The next meeting of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHs Trust Ockenden Report Assurance Committee will be held on the 24th June .
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