Intended for healthcare professionals


Maternity care: services across England require “immediate and essential actions”

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 11 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4797
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A catalogue of failures including poor risk assessment, injudicious use of oxytocin, poor monitoring of fetal heart rates, failure to escalate care to more senior clinicians, and a culture of low caesarean rates led to avoidable harm and death for mothers and babies at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, a review has concluded.1

The Ockenden review, commissioned by the Department of Health in 2017, called for “immediate and essential actions” to improve safety in all maternity services across England.

The review, which is investigating 1862 maternity cases at the trust, has published its initial findings, covering the first 250 cases reviewed, at the request of health minister Nadine Dorries. She asked for recommendations that could be implemented nationwide after a series of earlier reports highlighted failing maternity services at several NHS trusts.

The recommendations from these reports were “either not implemented or …

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