RCM sets out its actions on Ockenden Review

on 31 March 2021 RCM Midwives Specialist Midwives Newly Qualified Midwives Safety Maternity Safety MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Safe high quality care Electronic fetal monitoring Midwifery Women Pregnancy

Today the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has set out clear intentions and actions to address recommendations from the interim Ockenden review into maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Foundation Trust.

The RCM is committed to supporting its members, and the services in which they work, to learn from the issues raised by Donna Ockenden, and those in previous reviews of this nature.

As part of this work the RCM is launching a monthly ‘solution series’ for members beginning in May. Each briefing will include evidence-based solutions and focused guidance for RCM members, other maternity staff and maternity services on key areas to improve the safety of maternity care.  

The ‘solution series’ will include advice on how to develop systems for thorough investigation following adverse events so lessons can be learned, and future incidents avoided, guidance on interpreting electronic fetal monitoring, leadership and creating a positive work culture.

Commenting, RCM Director of Professional Midwifery Dr Mary Ross-Davie said:

“The interim Ockenden review report identified a number of key areas of concern.  The RCM will do all we can to support NHS maternity services across the UK to address issues with systems, governance, culture, resources, training and staffing, that impact on the safety of maternity care.

The funding announcement from NHS England last week is something that we have lobbied for and will support maternity services to address some of these issues.  The additional funding will enable backfill to release midwives to undertake multidisciplinary training and will ultimately boost midwife and obstetrician numbers.”

The RCM has long called for improved midwifery leadership and was pleased to see this included in the NHS England announcement last week. If we are to support and develop safe maternity services high-quality midwifery leadership is vital.

Mary added:

“Strong midwifery leadership is key to tackling these recurring problems. The RCM believes Directors of Midwifery in every maternity service are integral to positive change. More consultant midwives and specialist midwives are also needed to support quality improvement.”

A new ten minute I learn module on the Ockenden Review is already available for RCM members. The RCM, through our national network of officers, workplace reps and organisers will also be offering a range of online workshops over the coming months on creating positive workplace cultures, escalating concerns and advice on the co-production of service improvement with women and families.


 Notes to Editors





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The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.