The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) responds to the Maternity Safety Alliance’s call for a statutory public inquiry in England.
Dr Ranee Thakar, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“Every injury to, or death of, a baby or mother is a tragedy and our hearts go out to all families who have experienced this. The College is committed to doing everything within our remit to support safety improvements and would participate fully in any future statutory public inquiry.
“The College’s existing work in this area includes the development of solutions such as the Tommy’s Clinical Decision Tool with the Royal College of Midwives to improve risk assessment and tailored antenatal care. In addition, our ABC project is focused on improving clinical practice around two significant contributors of avoidable brain injury in childbirth.
“The recent Care Quality Commission report provided an in-depth view of the challenges facing NHS maternity services. Feedback from patients describes many staff going above and beyond for women and their families, but with some still not receiving safe, high-quality care. NHS England’s Three year maternity and neonatal services delivery plan is crucial to addressing these challenges, and the RCOG will continue to work with our Fellows and Members, with our partners, the NHS and the Government to support its implementation.
“The report also showed high vacancy rates and staffing levels below the recommended workforce numbers in midwifery and in leadership teams. The RCOG has delivered the first phase of an Obstetrics workforce staffing tool, and is keen to continue work with the Department of Health and Social Care to make this available to services for future workforce planning.
“The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan published this year was an important milestone, which we welcomed with caution. The plan’s ambitions will only be achieved with sufficient resource and investment by the Government.”
Find out more about the RCOG maternity safety programmes, here.