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Maternity services ‘overwhelmed with reporting requirements’, warns DHSC group

Government has been warned by its own advisory group that maternity services are being “overwhelmed with reporting requirements” which are hindering safety improvement work, according to documents seen by HSJ.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) set up the “independent working group” on neonatal and maternal care to oversee its response to Donna Ockenden’s spring 2022 inquiry report into Shropshire maternity services; and was then asked to do the same for key recommendations from Bill Kirkup’s report later that year on failings in East Kent.

The group is led by the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and made up of representatives of maternity staff.

It was asked particularly to look into advising on two Kirkup recommendations: first, on improving standards of professional behaviour and “embedding compassionate care”, including asking royal colleges and others how this can be done. Second, charging the royal colleges and others “with reporting on how teamworking in maternity and neonatal care can be improved, with particular reference to establishing common purpose, objectives, and training from the outset”.

However, a recent report from the working group, to the DHSC, released under the Freedom of Information Act, suggests the staff groups are arguing there is little scope to introduce more change.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 18 June 2024


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