The Okenden Report into maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) published initial findings in December. The report highlights concerns raised about maternity care within the Trust and provides recommendations to learn from these tragic cases and improve maternity care provision.
Outcomes from the report include a number of actions and learning points, all of which require strong, effective leadership and team working. One key highlight was the need for partnership across trusts within local networks to provide “critical oversight of patient safety in maternity units”. The importance of a multidisciplinary team approach to maternity care is continually reinforced within the report.
Service user feedback is essential to improving the service and co-production, working closely with the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP), is recommended to develop local services. Executive and non-executive directors should be appointed to oversee maternity care, who will listen to and act on service user and staff feedback.
Relevant aspects for sonographers, working as part of the maternity team, may be the aspects of staff training, which include recommendations for joint multi-disciplinary training and ring-fenced funding for maternity staff training. Informed consent also features in the report, to ensure personalised care is offered.
Saving Babies Lives care bundle version 2 (SBLv2) should be implemented. The report recommends an additional lead for the SBLv2 initiative, one obstetrician and one midwife, to ensure appropriate training, audit and compliance.
There could potentially be opportunities for sonographers to engage with other aspects of the report and maternity care, such as the development of maternal medicine specialist centres. Sonographers are a valued part of the maternity team and play an important role in the on-going improvements in their local maternity services as part of the extended team.
To read the full report, please see here.