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Our initial response to the Ockenden Report

12 April 2022

  • Quality and safety

Our maternity services team, and the whole Trust, have carefully taken some time to reflect on the contents of the final report of the independent maternity review into Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, led by Donna Ockenden - published on 30 March 2022.  

We understand how difficult it may be to read this report for anyone who has received, or is currently receiving, maternity care; and we would like to reassure you that we are here for you and will support you if you have any worries or concerns. 

At UHMBT, we pride ourselves on doing all we can to ensure the safety of our women and families; and that includes having open and honest communication at all times. We always try to do the right thing, and women and their families are at the centre of every decision we make. However, we also acknowledge that as a Trust, we can continually learn and understand what we can do to provide safer, women-centred maternity services in the future.

The final report gives 15 key immediate and essential actions to improve all maternity services in England to ensure that the failings identified are never repeated. As part of this initial response to the publication, we would like to briefly explain what we are already doing to meet the essential actions and what we will focus on as immediate priorities:

  • We encourage and support you to be involved in decisions about your care during your pregnancy, labour and birth 
  • We have an electronic notes system and an app that can be accessed through your phone or electronic device - giving you greater control over your care 
  • We continue to work closely with our Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) and other community groups to ensure we act on feedback from families who use our maternity services 
  • Through on-going staff recruitment and forward planning, we continue to expand our staff groups - including midwives, support colleagues, obstetricians, anaesthetists and the neonatal team 
  • We provide twice daily consultant-led multidisciplinary ward rounds on Delivery Suite  
  • We have a dedicated practice development and education team and a preceptorship programme to ensure that our students and newly qualified midwives are supported in their roles. In addition, we provide high quality multidisciplinary team training, as we recognise that colleagues who work together should also train together 
  • We have fetal monitoring lead midwives and lead obstetricians across our hospitals, who ensure that we follow best practice when monitoring your baby’s heartbeat during pregnancy and labour 
  • We have a preterm birth clinic, which aims to reduce the risk of your baby being born early 
  • We have a bereavement team who provide compassionate, individualised, high quality bereavement care to families that sadly experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death 
  • We have a governance team to ensure that robust processes are in place to investigate incidents, and we encourage the involvement of independent experts when required which includes working together with other hospitals across the region to ensure lessons are learned and shared 
  • We have a professional midwifery advocate team who support midwives in their training needs and listen to our local families to enable birth choices 
  • We have a specialist mental health team to support the mental health and wellbeing of women and their partners 
  • We are working on providing women who choose to give birth outside of a hospital setting with accurate advice regarding transfer times to an obstetric unit should this be necessary 
  • We work by closely engaging with our women and their families, our staff and partner organisations to make sure that we achieve and deliver on the essential actions. We will do this together through collaboration, learning and most importantly by listening to the women and families we care for

The publication of reports like the Ockenden Report can be hard for many and often for very different reasons. If you are currently receiving maternity care at UHMBT, or have done so in the past, and you are affected by anything you have read in the published report, please get in touch with us via our Patient Advisory Liaison Team by calling  01539 715577 or emailing PALS@mbht.nhs.uk; and we will support you as much as we can.

Our Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) will also be closely involved with shaping our response to the Ockenden Report and they are on hand to connect with anyone who is currently receiving maternity care who would like to share details about their experiences. Our local MVP can be contacted directly at mbccg.Baywide.MSLC@nhs.net.  

We will keep you updated on progress. In the meantime, if you need our support at any time, please reach out - we are always here for you. 

UHMBT Maternity Services