Maternity training programme launched in response to Shropshire baby death inquiry is welcomed

A £500,000 fund for NHS maternity leadership training in response to the review into baby deaths at Shropshire's major hospitals has been welcomed.

Donna Ockenden
Donna Ockenden

The Government has announced it is rolling out the programme later this year and it will train staff across 126 trusts and 44 local maternity systems.

It aims to equip maternity leaders with the skills and knowledge to improve workplace culture and facilitate greater collaborative working between nurses, doctors, midwives and obstetricians.

Nicola Wenlock, director of midwifery at SaTH, said the trust was "committed" to implementing the actions of the independent maternity review and welcomes "any resources that will lead to improvements in maternity services".

Tim Annett, a legal expert at Irwin Mitchell representing a number of families affected by the Ockenden review, said he cautiously welcomed the announcement and hoped this was "a step in the right direction in improving maternity care".

Vital

He added: “However, as highlighted in the Ockenden report, there needs to be a number of changes to maternity services, not only at Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals but also nationally, to improve patient safety.

“It’s vital that the recommendations contained in the report continue to be introduced as soon as is practical.

"We are continuing to support families to provide them with answers about their care under SaTH.

"We also will continue to campaign for maternity improvements as highlighted by our submissions to the Health Committee’s Maternity Safety Call for Evidence.”

The Ockenden inquiry was launched by then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2017, following concerns raised by a number of families.

Initially, it was reviewing 23 cases of alleged poor care in maternity services provided by SaTH, with the number since growing to 1,862 cases.

The full report by the inquiry team is expected later this year.

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