NHS Providers responds to the HSIB maternity programme year in review 2020/21

12 August 2021

Responding to the Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB) maternity programme year in review 2020/21, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:

"We welcome the focus that the HSIB brings to investigating systemic issues and how the NHS can learn from when things go wrong to improve patient care. As this review shows, the HSIB has played an important role in supporting the development of learning cultures within maternity care – the review's emphasis on staff being able to speak up and escalate issues as they arise is key. We also particularly support the review's recognition of the vital role of trust engagement with families and of effective communication within maternity teams and with mothers.

"The government and NHS England and NHS Improvement also have a key role to play in supporting frontline improvements to safety. A number of issues outside the control of trusts, notably workforce shortages, are a key concern within maternity services. More funding is vital for this safety critical area.

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