Independent review of maternity services at
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

News and Updates

December 2020

Actions in Donna Ockenden Review must be acted upon immediately by all maternity services say Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)

Strong leadership, challenging poor workplace culture, and ringfencing maternity funding are key to improving safety. That’s the message from two leading Royal Colleges as they respond to the independent review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust led by Donna Ockenden.

Read statement from RCM   

Read statement from RCOG

December 2020

Group B Strep Support’s response to Ockenden Review into maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

Group B Strep Support has responded to the interim findings of the independent review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals (SATH) NHS Trust by a team led by midwifery expert Donna Ockenden, published today.

December 2020

Care Quality Commission (CQC) statement following the publication of the first report

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:  
“The death or injury of a new baby or mother is a devastating tragedy and something that everyone working in the health and care system must do all they can to prevent.   
 “The emerging findings from Donna Ockenden’s review make for difficult reading. Limited oversight of risk, insufficient safety training for staff, poor communication with families, and a lack of robust investigation or learning when errors were made. Sadly, these are all themes that have been identified before, but yet again it has taken the repeated persistence of campaigning families and patients to bring them to the fore.  

“The continued national focus on the safety of maternity services is welcome – and we are seeing some positive change. However, the progress made does not yet meet the scale of the challenge.  

“As we set out in our Getting Safer Faster briefing earlier this year, there needs to be concerted national action and accelerated efforts to ensure that improvements in safety are achieved with the urgency required.  A major factor in this is the need to drive a change in culture that means the voices of staff, patients and their families are listened to and acted on. Without this shift we will not move forward. 
 “We welcome the recommendations set out by Donna Ockenden and her team and will monitor their implementation by the Trust, as well as working with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England/Improvement and wider system partners to play our part in supporting implementation. 

December 2020

West Mercia Police statement following the publication of the first report 

Assistant Chief Constable for West Mercia Police, Geoff Wessell, said: “Our investigation is running concurrently to the Ockenden Review and we have had sight of the report that has been released today. 

“We are mindful that the families involved with the review have waited patiently for the initial learning actions outlined in the report. I want to reassure them, and the wider community, that our investigation will, in no way, impede the work of the Ockenden Review or prevent the actions outlined in today’s report from being implemented. 

“Our investigation into maternity services at the Trust remains ongoing and, as such, we are not in a position to release any further information at this time. When there is an update we can provide we will share this with the families involved first and foremost and then to the wider public.”

November 2020

We now have a provisional date of the 10th December, subject to the Parliamentary timetable permitting,  for the first report into maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (SaTH). This will be an emerging findings report and will include ‘Essential and Immediate Actions’,  as a result of our review of a selection of 250 cases of concern, which include the original 23 cases which initiated this independent maternity review.  The emerging findings report will include ‘Essential and Immediate Actions’ which we feel are necessary to ensure safe practice in maternity services at SaTH and will make a difference to the safe provision of maternity services elsewhere.

October 2020

Listen to a short message from Donna Ockenden as Baby Loss Awareness Week 2020 commences

August 2020

Please see attached a news release announcing a new ’Improvement Alliance’ between The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Read News Release

July 2020

MPs call for evidence on maternity safety and what more must be done to improve it.

Recurrent failings in maternity services and what action is needed to improve safety for mothers and babies is the focus of this new inquiry launched by the Health and Social Care Committee. The Safety of Maternity Services in England inquiry will examine evidence relating to ongoing concerns despite the substantial amount of work carried out in recent years.

The Committee will build upon investigations that followed incidents at East Kent Hospitals University Trust and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as the inquiry into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust. 

MPs will also consider whether clinical negligence and litigation processes need to be changed to improve the safety of maternity services, as well as the extent to which a “blame culture” affects medical advice and decision-making. 

Chair’s comments

Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said:

“The death of a baby when something goes wrong is a tragedy for a family. When we’ve seen a pattern of baby deaths, we must be confident that failings that contributed to them have been addressed and lessons learned.  

“However, the safety of our maternity services continues to be a matter of concern.  

“We’ll be looking at the evidence that’s been gathered to date and whether recommendations are being acted upon to ensure that lasting improvements are made to safeguard the lives of mothers and their babies.”

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