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I would describe Donna Ockenden as a catalyst of change. Her contribution ensured a safe training ground for the Omani student midwives and provision of safe and effective care for mothers and babies. Her departure will leave a void, which will be impossible to fill.

Director General of Health Services and Superintendent of Nursing Services, Oman

I will always remember and appreciate your incredible support and protection through one of the most difficult times of my life. I wanted to let you know how touched I am by what you’ve done. You’ve had such a deep impact on ours as well as so many other people’s lives.


Mother of baby Gina

Donna has undoubtedly been instrumental in helping to create a vision to improve the quality and experience of care across London. She has given great warmth in delivering this role, and helped partners to establish fantastic connections to improve outcomes for women, babies and their families.

Donald Peebles
 Co-Clinical Director Maternity Clinical Network NHS England (London Region)

We are so grateful that we are being listened to, for your understanding and your willingness to follow things up.

Mrs B, North Wales

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Donna is proud to join forces with MAMA Academy , Babylifeline, SANDS and Child Bereavement UK this year for Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Today, 10th December 2020, marks the launch of the first report of the independent review into maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. The report outlines the local actions for learning for the Trust and immediate and essential actions for the Trust and wider system that are required to be implemented now to improve safety in maternity services for the Trust and across England.Read the report here

Donna Ockenden is a respected and high profile health care leader in the UK and internationally. Her expertise includes the leadership and management of Maternity services and Women and Children’s Divisions and she is well respected within the field of elderly care.

Recent and current work in the field of elderly care includes:

  • Development of an Elderly Falls and Fracture Reduction Strategy (across 3 CCGs and a population of circa 1 million);
  • Development of quality and contract standards for nursing homes across 2 CCGs;
  • Recently published an extensive Governance review (July 2018) of the events leading to the closure of Tawel Fan ward in December 2013 and a review of the current Governance arrangements in Older People’s Mental Health in Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board;
  • In February 2021 Donna Ockenden has been named as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce. The accolade has been awarded to Donna Ockenden for her work which has touched the lives of many throughout her career. Her work has been a catalyst for change to improve the quality of care for a broad section of people who use healthcare services across the UK;

Other recent work includes:

  • Current Chair originally reviewing 23 maternity cases of concern at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. The review has been commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health. Following a much larger number of cases of potential concern coming forward and confirmation that the original review was to be extended, Donna has increased the numbers within the expert team to include an anaesthetist, infection prevention, an ambulance expert, two paediatricians and a physician as well as increasing the number of midwives, neonatologists and obstetricians.
  • Completed a review of the leadership team, effectiveness and function in a pharmacy department of a large NHS Foundation Trust in the South of England where all the recommendations made by Donna Ockenden were accepted by the Trust Executive team;
  • Undertook and completed a review of the leadership, management and effectiveness of the multidisciplinary team in a large Emergency Department where the recommendations made by Donna Ockenden were all accepted by the Trust Executive Directors;
  • Successful working across multiple CCG’s and a large acute provider Trust in the development of an agreed pathway for paediatric emergency care;
  • Development of a number of Paediatric workstreams and successfully agreed a structure for implementation of those workstreams across an STP involving multiple commissioners and providers and complex commissioning and working relationships;
  • Support of a CCG in ensuring safe provision of care with a year long ‘deep dive’ into (and ongoing review of) a large maternity service following a number of maternal deaths and serious incidents;
  • Completion of a review into housekeeping services across the 3 sites of a large Trust where staff morale was low and employee relationships generally were of concern to the Executive team. Multiple recommendations were made to and accepted by the Executive team.

Donna’s area of particular interest, across all clinical specialties, is the leadership of multi-disciplinary teams. She is adept at working with a wide range of medical, nursing and midwifery colleagues. Her extensive experience consists of:

  • working with teams in difficulty or crisis
  • leading services against a background of extensive reconfiguration

Being highly skilled in supporting services Donna can demonstrate broad learning from clinical incidents and service user complaints. She also has experience of providing advice on the timely resolution of complex or seemingly intractable clinical complaints or serious incidents.

Donna has over a decade of experience in leading large and complex maternity and gynaecology departments and over five years’ experience of leading entire Women and Children’s Divisions. This includes the management of the various consultant groups and professions allied to medicine within the Division.

Donna has a comprehensive knowledge and practical experience of supporting services in difficulty with the ability to rapidly stabilise them; at the same time developing a blue print for safe, sustainable and cost effective clinical care. She has worked on a number of projects with externally appointed ‘Turnaround Directors’ and has a wealth of experience in delivering on cost improvement plans whilst ensuring the delivery of safe and effective care.

In addition Donna has a of history of developing successful and sustainable recruitment and retention campaigns across all professions and has delivered these successfully against a backdrop of services with historically high vacancies and turnover.

Donna is now available for full time and part time advisory and consultancy work across a number of areas and clinical specialties. Donna has recent and current experience of working with both commissioners and providers and is therefore cognisant of both perspectives in a challenging economic environment.