Sign up to The Independent’s virtual event The NHS maternity crisis

Sign up to The Independent’s virtual event The NHS maternity crisis
Join us for free as we host a virtual panel discussion on the situation within maternity services across the NHS and the ongoing problems being faced

Concerns about the safety of maternity services in the NHS have been growing with repeated examples of poor care in recent years that went far beyond single isolated cases.

The Care Quality Commission has said more than two fifths of maternity units needs to improve on safety while concerns over shortages of midwives and doctors mean services are being increasingly stretched.

There are efforts to improve care with £96 million invested in maternity services by NHS England this year but only after a terrible roll-call of tragedies that have left thousands of families grieving and hurt.

Far too many babies have been born with permanent brain damage, needing life-long care and costing the NHS millions in compensation.

Behind all of this is the ongoing debate about culture within maternity units, the relationships between midwives and doctors, with patients and the support or lack of for frontline staff by managers.

The Independent has been at the forefront of reporting on maternity services in the last two years with our investigations into the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals maternity scandal – the largest in NHS history. We have also exposed poor care at East Kent Hospitals University Trust and most recently at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.

The chair of the inquiry into Shrewsbury, Donna Ockenden, is preparing her final report for publication later this year and will be joining The Independent for a special webinar The NHS maternity scandal: Inside a crisis.

Donna will be able to tell us about the findings of her first report and where she thinks maternity services need to go.

We will also be joined by Dr Eddie Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists who will be giving his expert view on the state of maternity services and innovative new work by the college to try and improve staffing levels and prevent harm to babies.

Alongside them will be patient safety campaigner and bereaved father James Titcombe, who exposed poor maternity care at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust following the death of his son Joshua. James is a leading voice for maternity safety and works with the charity Baby Lifeline to help educate maternity staff on how to practice safer.

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