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RCOG release statement following Government’s full response to the review of maternity services at the East Kent NHS Trust

20 Jul 2023

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has published a statement following the full response from the Government to the independent review of maternity services at the East Kent NHS Trust.

Dr Ranee Thakar, President of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “Every maternal death or injury to a baby is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to all the families affected at East Kent NHS Trust.

“We welcome the Government’s full response to the independent review, published today. We are committed to supporting the important work the DHSC will now lead, around embedding compassionate care into learning and practice, oversight and direction of clinical practice, and supporting multidisciplinary team work and training.

“Referenced in the Government response, the RCOG’s 2022 workforce report recognised the importance of meeting healthcare professionals’ physical and psychological needs to improve patient safety and experience. We will continue to work with partners to build supportive and learning cultures in maternity services. We will also continue to call for the investment needed to train, retain and recruit more staff within our speciality.”
Information on the work the RCOG is delivering to improve maternity safety:

Information about our work in maternity safety can be found here. 

Maternity safety is a key priority area for the College and we continue to work in partnership with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on a range of initiatives focused on improving safety. These include our Avoiding Brain Injury in Childbirth (ABC) programme, which will take us a step closer to preventing adverse outcomes and promote safer practices. Our Tommy’s digital clinical support tool will help identify pregnant women at high risk of preterm birth or developing complications that could lead to stillbirth.

The College publishes clinical guidelines to support safe and effective clinical practice and is also finalising a new workforce planning tool to assist maternity units in calculating their medical staffing requirements. Finally, to set our future direction of work in this important area, the College is developing a new maternity safety ambition that will be launched in the Autumn.

As joint chairs, alongside the RCM, of the Independent Maternity Working Group, we have been actively engaged in addressing the recommendations outlined in the final Ockenden Report, published on 30 March 2022. Through this collaboration, we have provided support and guidance to those responsible for funding and implementing these recommendations with the aim to improve maternity safety and drive change across the sector.

To read the full Government response click here. 

  • Policy and governance
  • Careers and workforce
  • Pregnancy and birth