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July 2020

MPs call for evidence on maternity safety and what more must be done to improve it.

Recurrent failings in maternity services and what action is needed to improve safety for mothers and babies is the focus of this new inquiry launched by the Health and Social Care Committee. The Safety of Maternity Services in England inquiry will examine evidence relating to ongoing concerns despite the substantial amount of work carried out in recent years.

The Committee will build upon investigations that followed incidents at East Kent Hospitals University Trust and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as the inquiry into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust. 

MPs will also consider whether clinical negligence and litigation processes need to be changed to improve the safety of maternity services, as well as the extent to which a “blame culture” affects medical advice and decision-making. 

Chair’s comments

Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said:

“The death of a baby when something goes wrong is a tragedy for a family. When we’ve seen a pattern of baby deaths, we must be confident that failings that contributed to them have been addressed and lessons learned.  

“However, the safety of our maternity services continues to be a matter of concern.  

“We’ll be looking at the evidence that’s been gathered to date and whether recommendations are being acted upon to ensure that lasting improvements are made to safeguard the lives of mothers and their babies.”

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June 2020

2 women are diagnosed with cancer in and around pregnancy in the UK and Ireland every day –
Mummy’s Star needs your help. 

These women are in desperate need of support as they go through treatment and lifesaving surgery.  Little stars are still being born and families are still trying to cope with bereavement despite COVID-19.   Please help raise awareness of cancer and pregnancy by sharing #CPAW2020 posts, telling your health care team about Mummy’s Star, putting Mummy’s Star in touch with your GP surgery or making a donation to support their work. 

View Mummy’s Star website for more details

June 2020

North Wales’ health board still in special measures five years on

On the anniversary of the move to special measures, Deeside.com looks at what has happened over the course of five years, speaking to the author of the Ockenden Report into the Tawel Fan mental health ward who also carried out a subsequent study highlighting flaws in board governance. Donna Ockenden said : “It is five years since my first report was published and almost two years since the completion of my Governance review. I sincerely hope in the intervening time BCUHB can show the significant improvements they would have made as a result of the recommendations in these two reports.”

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June 2020

Deaths linked to learning disabilities and autism soar during Covid-19 crisis

The Care Quality Commission has revealed that there has been a 134 per cent increase in deaths of people with learning disabilities or autism in care settings. The regulator looked at figures for a period spanning April and part of May this year and compared the numbers with the same period last year.

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June 2020

Ethnic minorities face double the risk of death from Covid-19

A report by Public Health England has revealed that the risk to people from Asian, Caribbean and black ethnicities from coronavirus is “disproportionate” but it is as yet unclear why this is. Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the report as “troubling” but “timely” due to current anger about racial injustice. He added that “much more work” needed to be done to understand the reason for the disparities.

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June 2020

Huge decline in overseas nurse registrations

Data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council reveals that overseas nurse registrations have plummeted by more than 1,300 in a month. The decline has been attributed mainly to travel restrictions and other measures put in place in the UK and abroad in response to Covid-19, laying bare the full scale of the pandemic on international recruitment.

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June 2020

SANDS : Awareness month in June

The stillbirth and neonatal death support group SANDS has an Awareness month throughout June with a special focus on what the charity has to offer the NHS. SANDS wants to spread the word about the support it provides to those working on the frontline, helping equip them with skills to care for families facing loss. The charity has adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic by offering a range of on-line learning resources for NHS staff, including free webinars advising how best to support parents and families when a baby dies, as well as two e-learning modules focusing on best practice in relation to bereavement

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June 2020

Death toll for Covid-19 passes 40,000 in England and Wales

The latest analysis by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows 41,220 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. 11 thousand of these were in care homes. The northwest has had the highest number of virus-related deaths for the second week in a row, with a total of 620.

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May 2020

Poll suggests PPE shortage is worse for BAME nurses

Nurses from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are experiencing more problems accessing protective equipment than non BAME nurses, according to a new poll carried out by The Royal College of Nursing. NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Andrea Sutcliffe said “The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed deep seated inequalities for ethnic minority nursing and midwifery professionals. Their experiences cannot be ignored.”

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May 2020

RCM Challenge NMC as they fail to appoint a midwife onto its governing Council

The RCM are to challenge the NMC and call for a change in the law as they failed to appoint a midwife to its governing Council.  Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM expressed her disappointment and said it “does not allow for the expertise of midwifery on the Council to keep midwives and the public safe.”

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