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Maternity Providers in England | Medical Negligence and Private Damage Weblog

On 6 July 2021, the Well being and Social Care Committee printed its report into maternity care in England. The report appears at maternity care throughout the nation and analyses the progress of the Authorities to this point in its commitments to bettering maternity care.

The report sits towards a background of enchancment measures on this space of healthcare. Between 2004 and 2013, an impartial overview of maternity security at Morecambe Bay Belief was held, and located severe failures in care. There have been many suggestions for enchancment, together with the launch of programmes comparable to Every Child Counts, Higher Births and the Saving Infants Lives Care Bundle.

These initiatives have seen a discount within the numbers of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and mind accidents in addition to maternal deaths. Nonetheless, on the time of the report the outcomes of two impartial critiques of care at Shrewsbury and Telford and East Kent Trusts are rising. These present that not all classes have been realized.

On 11 August 2021, the Unbiased hosted a digital occasion to overview the report of the Committee and the primary studies into Shrewsbury.  The panel included Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal Faculty of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Senior midwife Donna Ockenden, Chair of the investigation into Shrewsbury Belief and James Titcombe, campaigner for Child Lifeline and a bereaved father.

This panel got here collectively to debate tips on how to assist out NHS to beat these points. Because the panel rightly emphasised, the UK stays one of many most secure locations on the planet to present beginning.  The target of those investigations is to make it safer nonetheless.


James Titcombe’s contributions had been significantly resonant. He spoke in regards to the devastating lack of his son Joshua in 2008, at 9 days previous. James subsequently turned concerned within the investigation into maternity care at Morecambe Bay Belief. He relayed how the problems occurring will not be particular to small maternity items, however are affecting companies throughout the NHS. Certainly, the Skilled Panel of the Well being and Social Care Committee has discovered that the Authorities’s commitments to maternity companies in England all require enchancment.

Donna Ockenden is main the investigation into maternity care at Shrewsbury Belief, with the ultimate report back to observe on the finish of 2021. Ms Ockenden spoke about the primary points in maternity care, citing a lack of awareness of the companies {that a} maternity unit gives. For instance, in the course of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic maternity workers had been redeployed across the hospital, however in the meantime ladies continued to enter labour and wish hospital care. The truth is, maternity companies needs to be considered as “a lady’s A&E division” as a result of nature of being pregnant and labour. Ms Ockenden mentioned that after all workers can plan for his or her shift, however typically they can not anticipate this and might want to react shortly to the wants of moms arriving at hospital.

Dr Morris agreed, saying that Belief boards and Chief Executives typically to not hear or perceive the wants of the maternity unit, saying that maternity is “a entrance door speciality.”  

As Terry Donovan discusses in his current weblog on this subject, workers shortages function as one of many overriding wants of maternity care within the nation, hand in hand with blame tradition and elevated funding into the service. Ms Ockenden recounted her expertise of managing finances cuts in a maternity unit. Workforce makes up the most important a part of the finances, and so typically specialist companies comparable to bereavement care are reduce. These companies are integral to the expertise of households within the maternity unit.

Additionally essential to bettering security is communication, throughout the board. This contains communication between obstetrician and midwife, which Dr Morris mentioned is vital. Equally, there Ms Ockenden has advisable multidisciplinary coaching inside Trusts, together with multidisciplinary planning conferences and ward rounds the place issues might be escalated. This method is vital for holistic care of mom and child, versus a concentrate on easy duties.

Lastly, listening to moms is paramount. The report by the Committee has recognized that moms of Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are much more prone to really feel excluded or face limitations to taking part in their very own care. This will likely be no shock, given the report in 2018 by MBBRACE, however nonetheless requires pressing progress to redress such a disparity within the experiences of birthing moms.

Usually, moms additionally really feel pressured to proceed with a vaginal beginning, which is seen because the hallmark of fine maternity care, versus choosing a caesarean part when mandatory. All moms have to be supported to make knowledgeable decisions, the place the main focus is on the great final result for mom and child.   


Kingsley Napley is skilled in working with moms and households when maternity care goes mistaken. It’s devastating for all concerned, and we welcome the Committee’s urged enhancements, from elevated budgets, clear studying and understanding, and personalised care. The specified final result of each maternity unit needs to be a “protected, wholesome, constructive expertise of beginning” for mom and child and fortunately that is the expertise of most households.

Additional Data

When you have any questions or issues in regards to the matters mentioned on this weblog, please contact Phoebe Alexander or any member of the Medical Negligence & Private Damage staff.


Concerning the Writer

Phoebe Alexander joined Kingsley Napley in 2020. She is at present a trainee solicitor within the Medical Negligence and Private Damage staff.




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