March 2020 : “Maternity services stand out as one of the core services we inspect that is not making improvements in safety fast enough. It is particularly concerning that in some of our inspections where services have been rated inadequate or requires improvement, we have found that the issues identified in the 2015 Kirkup report – staff not having the right skills or knowledge; poor working relationships between obstetricians, midwives and neonatologists; poor risk assessments; and failures to ensure that there is an investigation and learning from when things go wrong – are still affecting the safety of maternity care today”.
1B) ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH WOMEN USING MATERNITY SERVICES
Seeking ways to listen to and learn from the experiences of women who have used maternity services is vital to improving and developing services.
1C) INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO E.K HOSPITAL TRUST MATERNITY SERVICES
Parents who may have suffered poor maternity care at a scandal-hit NHS hospital have been urged to come forward to help an independent inquiry investigating avoidable deaths.
Dr Bill Kirkup, who is leading the inquiry into safety concerns at East Kent Hospitals University Trust has encouraged families who have concerns about the care they received to speak out. He said parents could remain anonymous and their stories would be treated with confidence.
Concerns about the safety of maternity care at the trust’s Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Hospital in Thanet prompted a review by the RCOG in 2016 which found a group of consultants who repeatedly refused to work evenings and weekends were leaving less experienced staff on their own. It also highlighted a poor safety culture with staff unwilling to raise concerns.