Summary – Ockenden Report
The Ockenden report has raised 15 areas for “immediate and essential action” to improve care and safety in maternity services across England.
Areas such as safe staffing, escalation and accountability, clinical governance and robust support for families have all been included as “must dos” by maternity expert Donna Ockenden in the 234-page document.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust have also been handed 60 local actions for learning, in light of care received by 1,486 families.
The report said maternity and neonatal services in England require a multi-year settlement from NHS England “to ensure the workforce is enable to deliver consistently safe” care.
Below is a summary of the key findings:
- A review into maternity failings at an NHS trust finds more than 200 babies may have died due to repeated failures
- The report led by senior midwife Donna Ockenden follows a five-year investigation of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust
- Ms Ockenden found serious mistakes were repeated over decades and there was a failure to investigate and learn from infant deaths
- A lack of transparency and honesty at the trust is highlighted and some staff described being frightened to speak to the review team
- Health Secretary Sajid Javid says the report “paints a tragic and harrowing picture of repeated failures”
- Rhiannon Davies, whose daughter Kate died, says the number of deaths “do not tell the whole story” of the impact on families
- Trust chief executive Louise Barnett vows to make improvements and apologies for the pain and distress caused
The publication of the Ockenden Report coincided with an announcement that public satisfaction with the NHS has sunk to its lowest level since 1997, with just 36% of voters content with the way the health service is run and performing.
Satisfaction has dropped 17% since 2020 – the biggest drop since records began in 1983. The collapse has been driven by frustration over long waiting times for all main types of NHS care, the service’s persistent staff shortages and a widespread belief that the government has denied it the funding it needs.
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