Blackpool families reassured in response to maternity review

The needs of families are put at the centre of maternity services in Blackpool, hospital directors have been told as part of a report following the maternity scandal at hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:36 pm

The reassurance came as the board at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was given an update into the Ockenden Review.

The independent review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust published its first report in December based on 250 reviews of cases of mother and baby injury or death.

This included a number of actions for all maternity units nationwide.

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A report to the Blackpool hospital directors said: “Fundamentally, boards are encouraged to ask themselves whether they really know that mothers and babies are safe in their maternity units and how confident they are that the same tragic outcomes could not happen in their organisation.”

Nicola Parry, head of midwifery at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, told a meeting of the board that listening to women and families was a vital part of providing a good service.

This has included removing barriers to ensure women understand their choices when it comes to the delivery of their babies.

Other measures include having “a robust pathway for complex pregnancies.”

Ms Parry said: “Our population has more complexity from the social as well as the physical side and we recognise this.”

Risk assessments continue through pregnancy, and as well as a lead midwife the department also now has a lead obstetrician, while all midwives have a “very detailed training schedule”.

There are also plans to recruit more midwives and it is hoped to put an additional £449,000 of funding into staffing and education.

The meeting also heard there was strong demand to work in the hospital’s maternity unit because of its strong reputation.

Donna Ockenden is examining 1,862 cases where babies or mothers died unnecessarily, or were caused unnecessary harm by maternity care at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.

Most of the cases happened between 2000 and 2019.

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