Lucy Allan MP has welcomed the announcement that £95.9 million in new funding will be spent to improve NHS maternity units and improve safety for mothers and babies. Following her campaign to highlight the maternity death scandal at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH), Lucy is pleased that a record investment in maternity safety is now being delivered - the highest in decades.
SaTH is now the subject of an inquiry by midwife Donna Ockenden, which published its first report in December 2020, detailing shocking cases of poor care and a working culture that was harming outcomes for mothers and babies. As part of the overall financial uplift NHSE have opted to invest £95.9m in maternity services in response to the commitment in December to the recommendations of the Ockenden report.
The stillbirth rate in England has already decreased by 25%, beating the Government's ambition to cut it by 20% by 2020 – we are well ahead of target and it is important to recognise that achievement. £83.8m will go directly to the system, allocated for the greatest impact on safety, with a considerable portion of the total funding going towards recruiting new expert midwives and doctors:
1) Midwifery Workforce (£46.7m) This will go towards the establishment of 1000 new midwifery roles.
2) Obstetric Workforce (£10.6m) – The Government is funding an increase in consultant time equal to 80 WTE in 2021/2022.
3) MDT Training (£26.5m) – The Government is investing in workforce capacity to allow teams to train together, improving the way the multidisciplinary teams work together. This is particularly important given some of the issues raised around working culture by Donna Ockenden, with non-collegiate working at the heart of some maternity units between midwives and Doctors.
4) International recruitment of midwives (£5m) – to support the costs of recruitment of additional midwives from overseas, in line with the NHS international nurse recruitment programme.
Lucy Allan MP said:
"I am pleased to see that £95.9 million will now be spent on improving maternity care across the NHS, following years of campaigning. It is crucial that mothers and their babies are cared for to the highest standards, and sadly that this has not always been the case at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust. I am pleased that the Hospital's new management seems to recognise the scale of the issues being investigated by the Ockenden review and I will continue to push for full transparency to ensure that my constituents are confident in their maternity care. Donna Ockenden has done great work so far, and I will be following the progress of her review closely."
Lucy has campaigned for better maternity care at SaTH and across the NHS since she was first elected in 2015. You can see Lucy's campaigning record on this issue here:
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