Ombudsman responds to findings of Ockenden report

Commenting on the findings of the report by Donna Ockenden into serious failings in maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, Ombudsman Rob Behrens, said:

These women and their families were let down by shocking levels of maternity care with devastating consequences. What exacerbates the catalogue of errors over many years is that the voices of victims and the families were never heard, and they were even blamed for the outcomes. That is disgraceful. This report should be a wakeup call for maternity care services and Trusts. I echo Donna Ockenden’s view that maternity care should be properly funded; staff well trained; and, when things do go wrong, Trusts must listen to the people affected and learn from their mistakes. This further highlights the urgent need for PHSO to be given powers of own initiative by Parliament, which would enable us to look into systemic issues such as this, without having to receive a complaint about it first.