Concerns about the safety of maternity services in the NHS have been growing in recent years with repeated instances of poor care that has gone far beyond single isolated cases.
The Care Quality Commission has said that more than two-fifths of obstetric units need to improve safety, while concerns over a shortage of midwives and doctors mean services are being scaled rapidly.
Efforts are on to improve care with £96 million invested in maternity services by NHS England this year, but only after a horrific roll-call of tragedies that have saddened and hurt thousands of families.
Too many babies are born with permanent brain damage, needing lifelong care and costing the NHS millions in compensation.
Behind all this is an ongoing debate about the culture within obstetric units, the relationship between midwives and doctors, with patients and about the lack of support or lack of frontline staff by managers.
independent Over the past two years Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals have been at the forefront of reporting on maternity services with our investigation into the maternity scandal – the largest in NHS history. We have also highlighted poor care at East Kent Hospitals University Trust and most recently at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.
Shrewsbury’s investigation chair, Donna Oakenden, is preparing her final report for publication later this year and will include independent for a special webinar NHS Maternity Scandal: Inside a Crisis.
Donna will be able to tell us about the findings of her first report and where she thinks maternity services should go.
We will be joined by Dr Eddie Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who will give his expert perspective on maternity services and innovative new work conditions by the College to improve staffing levels and prevent harm to babies. .
He will be accompanied by patient safety campaigner and bereaved father James Titcombe, who exposed poor maternity care at Morecombe Bay Trust’s university hospitals after the death of his son Joshua. James is a leading voice for maternity safety and works with the charity Baby Lifeline to help educate maternity workers on how to practice safe.