NCT response: Barking, Havering and Redbridge Trust

Released on: 28 October 2011

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published an investigation report into Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust on 28 October 2011.

Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser for NCT, the UK's largest charity for parents, said:

“As an organisation representing parents and parents-to-be across the UK, we know how devastating it can be for families to suffer poor care in a maternity unit. We also have respect for those midwives doing their best to provide quality care in a service which is drastically overstretched. Failings in the maternity system can have a real and sometimes tragic effect on families, and it is vital that sustainable improvements are made.

“We would like to see the experiences of users being listened to and valued to help implement maternity policy, with strategic planning carried out by a multidisciplinary team including users. Currently many maternity service liaison committees (MSLCs) fulfil this function, and they should be supported to continue doing so. To run an effective maternity service there must be a single leader who takes final responsibility and to whom everyone in that service is accountable.

“Midwives in the community should be the first point of contact for pregnant women, so they benefit from antenatal care as early as possible. Every woman should be given a midwife they can get to know and trust, who is given the time and training to support them through from early pregnancy to the postnatal period.

“NCT would also like to see opportunities taken to work more closely with the voluntary sector, offering families evidence-based information, antenatal and postnatal education and support.”