NHS to spend £95m on improving maternity care following damning report

FILE PHOTO: First Test – England v West Indies

Thu, 25 March 2021, 2:12 pm

MUMBAI (Reuters) – England all-rounder Ben Stokes was unsure if his Rajasthan Royals team mate Jofra Archer would be able to play any part in this year’s Indian Premier League due to injury and praised the fast bowler for prioritising his national team commitments.

The paceman missed the final test against India with a right elbow injury but returned for the five-match Twenty20 series, claiming a career-best 4-33 in the fourth match in Ahmedabad.

Archer subsequently withdrew from the three one-dayers in India to return home and the English cricket board said that he will miss the start of the April 9-May 30 IPL.

“We’re not sure how much of it he’ll be able to play a part, if any,” Stokes told reporters on Thursday. “One thing that we need to be very mindful of is that Jofra does need to give this elbow a chance to recover.”

England have a packed schedule for the home summer with test series against New Zealand and India and white-ball fixtures against Sri Lanka and Pakistan before the Twenty20 World Cup in India and the Ashes against arch-rivals Australia.

“It’s great that he’s came out and said he’s putting his England commitments before everything else,” Stokes said of Archer. “It’s tough having an injury then getting through a game and then going backwards again.

“I think long term for his career, this is a very sensible option for him to be taking.”

Stokes returned to England’s 50-over setup for the first time since the side’s 2019 World Cup triumph at home during the defeat against India on Tuesday and batted at an unfamiliar number three spot in the absence of the rested Joe Root.

The 29-year-old, England’s hero in the World Cup victory, managed to score just one.

“There would be talk, whoever filled the place at number three with Rooty not being here,” Stokes said ahead of Friday’s second ODI. “People keep talking and I’ll just go out and try to do what I’ve been asked to do.

“But I did actually message Rooty and asked him about his mind-set at three, and he was pretty clear to me in saying ‘just play the way you play’.

“Just because he plays a certain way doesn’t mean I have to do it like that.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Toby Davis)Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting.PA Media: UK News

NHS to spend £95m on improving maternity care following damning report

Josh Payne, PAThu, 25 March 2021, 2:51 pm

The NHS is set to spend almost £100 million to improve maternity care in England following a damning report at a scandal-hit trust.

In December last year, an independent inquiry found babies’ skulls were fractured and medical staff at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) blamed grieving mothers for the deaths of their children.

Now, NHS England has committed to investing £95 million for workforce numbers, training and development programmes to support culture and leadership, and strengthening board assurance and surveillance to identify issues earlier.

NHS maternity inquiry
The Ockendon report published initial findings in December 2020 (House of Commons/PA)

The inquiry into deaths and allegations of poor care at SaTH was set up in 2017 and is reviewing 1,862 families – making it “the largest number of clinical reviews undertaken relating to a single service, as part of an inquiry, in the history of the NHS”.

Former senior midwife Donna Ockenden’s report said “one of the most disappointing and deeply worrying themes” was the “reported lack of kindness and compassion from some members of the maternity team at the trust”.

The chief executive of the trust apologised for the “pain and distress” caused to mothers and families due to poor maternity care – after the review found staff had been “flippant”, “abrupt” and “dismissive”.

The review also said the deaths of Kate Stanton Davies in 2009 and Pippa Griffiths in 2016, whose families had campaigned for an independent review into maternity care at the trust, “were avoidable”.

NHS maternity inquiry
Rhiannon Davies with her daughter Kate Stanton Davies who died shortly after birth in 2009 (Richard Stanton/PA)

The decision at the NHS England board on Thursday said follow-on funding would be subject to decisions in future years.

In the agenda for NHS England’s board meeting, it read: “The NHS is committed to providing safe, compassionate maternity services.

“While there has been clear progress over last five years of the Maternity Transformation Programme (MTP), Donna Ockenden’s first report (the Ockendon report) has highlighted variation and women and their families are not always receiving the care that they should.

“The seven ‘immediate and essential actions’ (IEAs) outlined in the Ockendon report include local, system and regional actions. We have introduced a quality assurance (QA) process to evaluate compliance against the seven IEAs, and to then support those organisations requiring improvement plans to reach full compliance.

“As a first step, we are also investing £95 million in the three overarching themes that have been identified; workforce numbers, training and development programmes to support culture and leadership, and strengthening board assurance and surveillance to identify issues earlier, thereby enabling rapid intervention.”

Professor Jackie Dunkley-Bent, NHS England’s chief midwifery officer, said: “Thanks to the efforts of NHS staff, there have been huge improvements in maternity services for women in England over the last decade – from fewer still births and better post-birth check-ups for new mums, to safely supporting the birth of up to 600,000 babies during the pandemic.

“Today’s report shows not just how safe it is to give birth in this country, but how we plan to make new and expectant mums’ experience of care better.

“The funding means we can build on and accelerate progress and make maternity services in England safer and better for women, babies and their families.”


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