A Renewed Hope

Ockenden Final Report – March 2022

What is the Ockenden Report?

Finding and recommendations from the Independent Maternity Review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which has identified a number of new themes that will be shared across all maternity services in England as a matter of urgency to bring about positive and essential change.

In total 1,592 clinical incidents involving mothers and babies have been reviewed with cases from 1973 up until 2020.

Ockenden Report Blog

We at Harmless CIC work hard to prevent self harm and suicide, help those in crisis and reduce poor outcomes for those with a mental health diagnosis or those at risk of, by increasing knowledge and reducing stigma, we therefor know that maternal death and the loss of a child has huge and often devastating impacts on the mental wellbeing of the parents and wider networks.

It is with mixed emotions I write this blog, heartbreak and compassion for the mothers and babies lost and the families that have suffered, also a renewed hope for change for all within Maternity services, families and staff alike. I also have huge admiration for the strength of the families who tirelessly fought to get this report, using their lived experience to make sure other families will not have to suffer such devastating losses.

What are the recommendations (list not inclusive) and how will they impact?

Families MUST be involved with investigations – Using the lived experience voice is essential for learning, this increases knowledge for professionals and plays a huge role in the journey to recovery for those impacted.

Minimum staffing levels MUST include a locally calculated uplift, representative of the 3 previous years’ data, for all absences including sickness, mandatory training, annual leave and maternity leave – This has a 2-fold effect decreasing staff burn-out, depersonalisation, low morale and malaise whilst increasing patient safety and serving as a preventative measure to poor outcomes of patient/staff mental wellbeing.

Training MUST be multidisciplinary, and time MUST be allocated and protected – Again this has a 2-fold effect, inhibiting staff/clinicians without the appropriate training working on labour wards, annual human factor training to increase psychological safety and uphold civility which recognises that well-supported staff are better able to delivery kind and compassionate care consistently, this of course impacts patients’ wellbeing.

What can we do to support families effected by loss during the Perinatal period?

Listen, be present, do not judge, give your time and remember that Recovery is a journey not a destination.

Written by Helen Birch, Trainer

For the full Ockenden Report, please go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-report-of-the-ockenden-review

More Information and support – Health Visitors, GPs, Family Centres, Tommy’s https://www.tommys.org/, SANDS https://www.sands.org.uk/, Hub of Hope https://hubofhope.co.uk/,