Released on: 29 January 2024
Responding to tonight’s BBC Panorama programme on maternity failings at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Angela McConville, Chief Executive at NCT, said:
“Our heartfelt sympathies are with the families impacted by the tragic maternity failings highlighted in this harrowing report by BBC Panorama.
“Maternity services at the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust failed at every turn to provide women with the safe and personalised care they deserve. Lessons were learnt too late and whilst the documentary focuses on the devastating deaths of two babies and a mother, we know there were more avoidable deaths.
"Unsafe care, poor safeguarding and reporting of incidents were part of a suite of systemic issues that categorically risked the lives and safety of too many women and their babies. We applaud the midwives who bravely spoke out about what they saw, and who have continued to highlight areas of concern.
“We know at the heart of these failings, there was a chronic shortage of midwives and those in post were dangerously overstretched. We’re pleased to hear that the Trust at the centre of this story has invested in maternity staff, leadership, improved training and systems, but we know this is not a consistent story across all NHS maternity units. It is only with a fully resourced, valued and well-trained midwifery workforce, supported by strong and compassionate leadership, that women and families can regain trust in NHS maternity services.