Released on: 30 March 2022
The final report of the Independent Review of Maternity Services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been published today, following a comprehensive review into almost 1,600 case reviews involving women and babies over the last two decades.
The review has found significant failures in the quality of care for women and babies, as well as failure to listen to families, conduct investigations and take action to improve maternity services. This led to the tragic loss of lives, with many more women and babies left with life-long conditions as a result of their care and treatment.
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 deeply respect the strength and perseverance families have shown in their campaign for justice and change.
“Lessons must be learnt from this review. Safety for women and babies is paramount, and that means ensuring every woman receives personalised, skilled and compassionate care that responds to their individual needs at every stage of the maternity journey. They must be listened to and respected.
"The report is clear in its recommendations. We wholeheartedly support the call for major investment to ensure a safe, skilled maternity workforce who feel valued and supported in their roles. In addition, it is vital that women experiencing multiple or complex pregnancies receive specialist support, and that quality care extends throughout the postnatal period when mothers and babies are particularly vulnerable.
"As a charity which exists to support parents to have the best possible experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, we are fully committed to listening to women and families and ensuring our own support and services play their part in driving safety and meaningful change.”
NCT was set up in 1956 after the tragic death of our founder’s baby. Our charity’s aims have changed over the last 66 years and our mission today is to support parents to have the best possible experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. We are not here to promote one way over another, but to ensure parents have access to evidence-based information and know where to find specialist support. We work closely with other birth-related charities and health organisations on issues that matter most to parents in the early days of parenthood.
Our antenatal course content is guided by a framework, which has evolved over the years in response to evidence and 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 every course and after birth, and this feeds into continual development of our services and practice.