Released on: 06 July 2021
In response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on the safety of maternity services in England, Angela McConville, Chief Executive, NCT, said:
"This report, together with the evaluation of progress against commitments by an expert panel, raises significant concerns about issues of safety and inequality in care for women and babies.
"During investigations in recent years, we have heard how desperately families wanted to make sure nobody else experienced what they did, only to be met with defensiveness and blame. We support the urgent calls for full implementation of the Rapid Resolution and Redress Scheme set out by Better Births, in addition to a reform of the clinical negligence system to ensure listening, accountability and learning.
"We support the call for urgent action and funding to recover an overstretched and demoralised workforce, and to implement the changes required to support relationship-based, personalised care for all women. While there is some progress against the commitments to halve stillbirths and neonatal deaths by 2025, it is devastating to see an 'inadequate' verdict on maternal deaths.
"We welcome the recommendation that the Government introduces a target to end disparity in outcomes for women of Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds with a clear timeframe and strategy for achieving this. We also call for wider commitments in relation to postnatal care - a critical component of maternity services and a time when more deaths and serious complications occur.
"As a charity supporting parents through the antenatal and postnatal period, we believe in safe and inclusive care for all women, based on informed-decision making during pregnancy, labour and birth. We will continue to work in partnership with women, families, health services and policy makers to improve experiences and support safer care."