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Maternity Providers in England | Medical Negligence and Private Damage Weblog | Kingsley Napley


On 6 July 2021, the Well being and Social Care Committee revealed its report into maternity care in England. The report seems to be at maternity care throughout the nation and analyses the progress of the Authorities up to now in its commitments to bettering maternity care.

The report sits in opposition to a background of enchancment measures on this space of healthcare. Between 2004 and 2013, an unbiased evaluate 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 similar 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. However, on the time of the report the outcomes of two unbiased critiques of care at Shrewsbury and Telford and East Kent Trusts are rising. These present that not all classes have been discovered.

On 11 August 2021, the Impartial hosted a digital occasion to evaluate the report of the Committee and the primary experiences into Shrewsbury.  The panel included Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal School 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 help 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 have been notably resonant. He spoke concerning 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 models, however are affecting providers throughout the NHS. Certainly, the Professional Panel of the Well being and Social Care Committee has discovered that the Authorities’s commitments to maternity providers in England all require enchancment.

Donna Ockenden is main the investigation into maternity care at Shrewsbury Belief, with the ultimate report back to comply with on the finish of 2021. Ms Ockenden spoke about the primary points in maternity care, citing a lack of information of the providers {that a} maternity unit supplies. For instance, through the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic maternity employees have been redeployed across the hospital, however in the meantime ladies continued to enter labour and wish hospital care. In reality, maternity providers needs to be considered as “a girl’s A&E division” as a result of nature of being pregnant and labour. Ms Ockenden stated that after all employees can plan for his or her shift, however typically they can’t anticipate this and might want to react rapidly to the wants of moms arriving at hospital.

Dr Morris agreed, saying that Belief boards and Chief Executives typically to not pay attention 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 concern, employees 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 funds cuts in a maternity unit. Workforce makes up the biggest a part of the funds, and so typically specialist providers similar to bereavement care are lower. These providers are integral to the expertise of households within the maternity unit.

Additionally essential to bettering security is communication, throughout the board. This consists of communication between obstetrician and midwife, which Dr Morris stated is vital. Equally, there Ms Ockenden has really helpful multidisciplinary coaching inside Trusts, together with multidisciplinary planning conferences and ward rounds the place issues could 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 way more more likely to really feel excluded or face boundaries to collaborating in their very own care. This shall 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 vital. All moms should be supported to make knowledgeable selections, the place the main focus is on the nice final result for mom and child.   


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

Additional Data

When you’ve got any questions or issues concerning the matters mentioned on this weblog, please contact Phoebe Alexander or any member of the Medical Negligence & Private Damage workforce.


In regards to the Writer

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





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