RCM expresses disappointment at Government’s ‘lacklustre’ response to maternity safety report 

on 07 March 2023 RCM Maternity Services Staffing Levels Government RCM Member Maternity Safety Safety

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has expressed its disappointment at the long-awaited Government response to Dr Bill Kirkup’s report into maternity services at East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The response, delivered as a written statement to the House of Commons by Health Minister Maria Caufield, comes almost six months after the publication of the report.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, said:

“If anyone wanted evidence of how little this Government cares about maternity services, they simply need to read their response to the Kirkup report. Fewer than 500 words and nearly six months after the report’s publication, contrast this with the response to the equally-important Ockenden Review, which was made by the Secretary of State, to the House of Commons, on the day of publication. This lacklustre response does little to address the report’s calls for greater investment in maternity services, or the recommendations around training and support for staff.”

The College reiterated its determination to work with policy-makers and commissioners to improve safety and outcomes in maternity services.

Gill continued:

“Every day, in almost every maternity service in the country, midwives and maternity support workers are going to work knowing that there will be too few staff to support the women and families in their care. Those staff will still do everything they can to provide the best possible care, but the thread that services are hanging from is getting thinner and thinner. Reports like Dr Kirkup’s, and like Donna Ockenden’s before it, should make the Government sit up, take notice and, most importantly, take action. I am sure I will not be alone in my disappointment on reading their response today.


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Notes to Editor 

The Government response can be read at Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament.

See also:

The Royal College of Midwives (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 | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team.