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2017 Testimonials

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

Mrs B, North Wales
December 2017


Thanks for all your unending concern and empathy Donna, and for all your endeavours on my behalf

Mrs M, North Wales
November 2017


Further to the publication of the report: Gathering feedback from families following the death of their baby – A resource to support professionals in maternity care by the London Clinical Networks NHS England Publications Gateway. Donna received the following two testimonials:

Thank you so much for including Gina in your dedication. 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.

There’s still so much sadness, even after all this time but we are grateful for the generosity and love that you have shown us. You’re a very special lady Donna – and you’ve had such a deep impact on ours as well as so many other people’s lives. You must be very proud to have been instrumental in creating this resource and I truly appreciate you including Gina alongside the other babies.
‘V’ Mother of baby Gina
November 2017


I have spent a bit of time this evening googling the learning about the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure Project, and I am so impressed and proud to know you! I obviously never met Gina, and I cannot begin to understand mum’s grief over having lost her first baby, but in the moments when we do talk about her, I can appreciate that the loss has never gone away. I know that mum has told you herself, but I’d also like to tell you that your dedication both to Gina in the report and to improving support for all mums and babies throughout your career really means the world to mum. I think knowing that Gina is remembered by you, and that through you has had an impact outside of her short life, is such an incredible gift.

‘Z’ Sister of baby Gina
November 2017


It was lovely to see you yesterday.  As we discussed, we are very proud that we have launched the Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure last week that coincides with Baby Loss Awareness week. Many thanks for your hard work in the London Clinical Network.  I am sure your wisdom and expertise will benefit many professionals across the UK for years to come.

Midwife F, Bereavement Specialist & MBRRACE-UK Lead Midwife
October 2017


I am writing to say thank you for the work that you have completed in respect of the Midwifery workforce.  The work we asked you to do was intended to provide us with some external assurance on the appropriate level of WTE of direct midwifery clinical care that should be declared in our birthrate plus analysis, (with some independent benchmarking).  Your work has helped us in our journey to understand our numbers and has also given us some good food for thought in respect of any wider work that we may embark upon relating to our midwifery workforce.

Your analysis has been discussed at our Executive Performance Review meeting and I am pleased to say that we have been able to confirm the midwifery workforce numbers going forward.   This exercise has removed any unnecessary uncertainty and has provided the organisation with the data upon which we could make our decision. Thank you once again Donna.

Chief Nurse, Kent
October 2017


I always enjoyed working with you and you have achieved so much for maternity in London. All the best for your onward journey and I hope that our paths will cross again

Consultant Obstetric Anaesthetist
October 2017


I have always been convinced that my inclusion on the SCLG might be in large part due to you not choosing ‘the usual suspects’. Whether this is true or not you have certainly always taken a leap of faith in both me and my ideas. I feel that your support has been instrumental in what I have achieved and the birth of the #MatExp movement. You have left a tremendous legacy which will benefit women and families across London

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
October 2017


Thank you for a fantastic day at the NMC yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and will definitely be encouraging other students to come to the NMC

Sophie Martin, BSc Midwifery
September 2017


Donna has previously held the position of chair of the Parents and Friends of St Anthony’s Special School in Chichester and played a keen role in fundraising activities.

Read the testimonial


I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to you for your hard work and clinical leadership with the London Maternity Clinical Network, most especially in the recent publication of the maternity bereavement resource which, with its implementation, will provide great improvements in bereavement care for mothers, families and babies in future.
I wish you continued success in your future endeavours, and hope that our paths cross again.

Malti Varshney, Associate Director, Clinical Networks and Senate
NHS England (London Region)
September 2017


Thank you for today’s event, I thought it was brilliant and really enjoyed it

JS, North Wales
July 2017


Your input throughout our enquiry has been invaluable and first class

Detective Constable
Homicide and Major Enquiry Team


Thanking @DOckendenLtd once again for her time and for listening, will keep you in the loop

Sue Irlam
@froheulog via twitter
July 2017


After more than four years of successfully providing a passionate and ambitious midwifery perspective in her role as Co-Clinical Director for the London Maternity Clinical Network, I am sad to that Donna Ockenden will be stepping down as of June 2017. For me it has been a real delight to work with such a dedicated, energetic and fun person and has gone a long way to ensuring a genuinely multidisciplinary approach to improving London’s maternity services. She 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. Donna had led the Network in establishing the Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Working group, and developed an expert panel to support investigations as well as a thematic review of deaths with an annual report and work plan for London. She leaves a wonderful legacy, ready to embrace the future as described in Better Births.

I thank Donna her for the huge contribution that she has made to improving maternity services in London. I for one will miss her enormously.

Professor Donald Peebles
Co-Clinical Director Maternity Clinical Network NHS England (London Region)
July 2017

Read more Testimonials further to Donna’s departure from the role of Co-Clinical Director for the London Maternity Clinical Network.


It was a pleasure to have you attend the Heads of Midwifery Advisory Group meeting which allowed us to showcase our past achievements and current projects

Read the letter

Deb Jackson, Chair of HoMAG
May 2017


Donna, thank you for all your help over the past many months and for undertaking this very comprehensive investigation.’

Chief Nurse, A London NHS Trust
May 2017


We would just like to convey our thanks to yourself and the two clinicians in your team who spent the time to listen to us today and we would just like to thank you for the professional way you dealt with us. Every member of your team has always treated us with complete respect and handled us with care, we would not have come today if this was done without you being there.
Mr J, North Wales
May 2017


Just a brief note to say thank you for today.  Mum felt she was really listened to as well as understood, although dad didn’t really know or understand why he was there, I thought it was important that he was there.  I also found out that there is a group that dad can join, so I am going to investigate that.
Daughter of H and S – North Wales
May 2017


Dear Donna
A huge thank you to you once again for giving so generously of your time to participate in last Wednesdays careers event. It really was very kind of you to rally support and to provide one of the series of talks too. As you know I am wholly dependent on the goodwill and enthusiasm of my career experts so thank you for all you do to support!’
With best wishes

Mrs Sammy Davies, Head of Careers
Portsmouth High School for Girls
February 2017


Lovely email from @DOckendenLtd @nmcnews ..thanks for making me feel valued as a #midwife and that my opinions matter in unsettling times 🙂

Melanie Ambrose
@MelAmbrosia via Twitter
February 2017


Donna, thanks for all of your help with this case which has of course been both lengthy and complex.

Detective Inspector
Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET)
March 2017


Donna Ockenden was appointed by City and Hackney CCG to provide independent Midwifery support and expertise to a ‘deep dive’ process into a local Maternity Unit where there had been a number of concerns regarding safety. Donna was initially appointed in December 2014 but continued supporting both the CCG and the Maternity service on an ongoing, flexible and as required basis until the Spring of 2016. Throughout her time supporting the CCG Donna could always be relied upon for wise and sensible advice. She clearly has extensive knowledge, skills and competency   in providing effective and high quality Maternity leadership and she bought great ideas and challenge to help us monitor and develop local services which were absolutely invaluable. This was very evident from day 1 of her work with the CCG.  The service provided by Donna Ockenden was highly professional from start to completion. I would have no hesitation in recommending Donna Ockenden to other CCGs or NHS bodies or Trusts requiring a similar piece of work.

Paul Haigh, Chief Officer
February 2017


We appreciate the passion and commitment from you for this area of work and the relationships that have been formed over a number of years. Your leadership and co – working with Donald has helped significantly the development of the Maternity Clinical Network. Again we thank you for your contribution to developing some excellent work that has already taken place in the Maternity Clinical Network

Strategic Clinical Network Lead
NHS England
February 2017


On behalf of the whole team at Kate’s Home Nursing I am writing to thank you for your support of our annual carol concert. Our final total was over £13,000.

Read more

Nicky Noorani
January 2017


A massive thank you Donna for facilitating the Paediatric STP workshop excellently. The turnout was fab and the networking and buzz in the room was brilliant. We got to some of the tricky issues but the best thing was – we got everyone talking. Well done, I really appreciated your style and expertise.

Angela Murphy, Deputy Director Strategy & Partnerships
North East Hampshire & Farnham CCG
January 2017