Health and care committee's focus on safety of maternity services welcome

06 July 2021

Responding to the health and social care committee's report on safety of maternity services in England, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

"We welcome the focus given by the committee to this important and difficult area. While there is clearly room for improvement, there has been progress over recent years which must be recognised and built on.

"One of the keys to developing better outcomes for women and babies is developing the right culture – shifting from blame to one of learning. This would help the NHS move from reactive to proactive approaches to safety, encourage open conversations, and bring a more realistic and humble approach to managing a high-risk area.

The government and NHS England and NHS Improvement also have a key role to play in supporting frontline improvements to safety.

"The government and NHS England and NHS Improvement also have a key role to play in supporting frontline improvements to safety, with a number of issues outside the control of trusts. In particular, workforce shortages are a key concern within maternity services. We strongly welcome the attention the committee gives to the pressures on staff numbers and training, and that it echoes our call for more funding for this safety critical area.

"Collaboration between the government, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and trusts will be important to address the challenges outlined in the report and to ensure continuing improvements to the quality of care."

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