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About

Donna Ockenden has more than 30 years experience of working within a variety of health settings both in the UK and internationally. Donna’s career spans a number of sectors including but not limited to: acute providers, commissioning, hospital, community, and education.

For more than fifteen years she has worked within a number of increasingly senior NHS leadership roles including five years experience as Divisional Director of two large Women and Children’s Divisions on the South Coast and in London.

Whilst working within the NHS and internationally Donna has also successfully integrated a number of key national and London wide leadership roles. These include:

  • Current chair of the Independent Review into Maternity Services at the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH)
  • Senior Midwifery Adviser to the chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Current Patron for MAMA Academy
  • Chair of the recently published Independent Review into Maternity Services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH). This involved Donna leading a large team of medical professionals spanning from Leeds to Plymouth, all of whom worked alongside her to independently review nearly 1600 cases. 
  • Co-Clinical Director (Midwifery) July 2013 to June 2017, of the London  Maternity Strategic Clinical Network working with Professor Donald Peebles as Co Clinical Director (Obstetrics)
  • London Clinical Network Lead for Maternity Bereavement Project MBEM (Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure) from September 2016 to June 2017. Launched in 2017, this project was supported and funded by NHS England and worked in partnership with SANDS, the NHS England Patient Experience and Insight team and the London Maternity Bereavement Midwives Forum. A toolkit was developed and shared with maternity, gynaecology and neonatal teams across England. The toolkit outlines the findings of in depth feedback from women and their families about what helped them and what was important to them at the time of pregnancy loss and stillbirth. 
  • Chair of the England Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Head of Midwifery Advisory Board from 2006 to February 2014.
  • Membership of the RCM Board 2011-12
  • Clinical member representing South London Heads of Midwifery on the London Expert Maternity panel 2011-12

Internationally Donna was the co-author of the first national Maternity standards in the Sultanate of Oman and led the successful introduction of those standards into practice across the Muscat region. In addition she led a multidisciplinary team, as well as parents, government representatives and faith leaders on the introduction of maternity and gynaecology bereavement standards first into Muscat and then subsequently rolled out nationally across the Sultanate of Oman.

Donna is proud to have extensive experience of working positively with multidisciplinary teams including hospital teams, GPs, commissioners and service users to introduce sustainable and lasting change. She has long term experience of service reconfiguration and evidence of working positively with local communities and all levels of staff during complex reconfiguration.

In addition, Donna has completed a wide range of work leading on and reporting to Government, individual Trust and CCG boards on a variety of different independent investigations and external reviews, including elderly care, mental health, maternity, and gynaecology.

Donna has also experienced considerable success in the use of creative and innovative methods of communication to reach out to both service users and fellow professionals alike, including the award winning ‘Edie the E-Midwife’, used across South London Healthcare NHS Trust. All ‘E’ services were extensively road tested with a wide ranging multidisciplinary team and service users before, during and after introduction. 

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