Released on: 27 March 2022

On Wednesday 30 March, the Ockenden review will publish their full report, sharing the findings and recommendations of the independent review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. The review is expected to be one of the largest scale investigations into a single service in the history of the NHS.

It is already clear, from the interim report, BBC Panorama and early coverage this weekend, that families have experienced serious failings and devastating tragedy. 

Angela McConville, NCT Chief Executive said: 

“Our hearts go out to every family affected by the serious failings at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust. The grief and pain they have suffered is immeasurable and the delay in launching a proper investigation hugely exacerbated their anguish. 

"We welcomed the Royal College of Midwives' recent statement on the unintended consequences of policies which aimed to reduce unnecessary over-medicalisation and over-intervention of labour and birth. We share their sadness and deep regret that practice in some Trusts swung too far the other way - from too much intervention too soon, to too little too late. Safety for women and babies must focus on both, and that means ensuring every woman receives personalised and compassionate care that listens and responds to their individual needs. Targets around childbirth should never take priority over safety. 

"Our charity’s position today is to support parents to have the best possible experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. We are not here to give advice or to promote one way over another, but to ensure parents have access to evidence-based information and know where to find specialist support with any decisions or concerns they may have. 

"Our antenatal course content is guided by a framework, which has evolved over the years in response to evidence, guidelines and the views of parents. It was extensively reviewed and refreshed in 2019, building on feedback and research with expectant and new parents. The framework expects courses to cover all ways of giving birth, reflecting the various options and outcomes that individuals may experience. We gather parent feedback after the course and after birth, and this feeds into continual development of our services and practice.” 

Members of our community may have experienced baby loss or bereavement themselves or have supported families through tragic events. We are grateful for specialist charities like SANDS and Cruse Bereavement UK for the support they provide, and encourage anyone affected by the coverage of the Ockenden review to reach out for support. 

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