London’s NHS trust under fire from adverts for midwives committed to ‘normal childbirth’

Various NHS trusts have come under fire for posting vacancies for midwives engaged in ‘normal birth’ – just over a week after a very damning report into the deaths of babies and mothers. An advertisement stated that she was “seeking a dynamic, highly motivated and experienced midwife to join our team who is committed to the philosophy of normal childbirth”.

The advert – which has since been withdrawn – said the staff member would work within midwifery unit teams which “are made up of passionate and normalcy-focused midwives”, posted by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

A similar announcement was posted earlier by NHS Trusts in Lewisham. It follows a review of failures at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, where some mothers had to give birth naturally when they should have been offered a Caesarean section.

READ MORE: West London baby, 6 months, tragically dies suddenly and unexplained

The ads, dated April 4, were condemned on Twitter

The review found around 200 babies and nine mothers could have – or would have – survived if they had provided better care, while the trust’s low C-section rate was seen as a positive nationally and locally. . In the review, senior midwife Donna Ockenden found the trust had presided over catastrophic failures for 20 years – and failed to learn from its own inadequate investigations – that led to stillborn babies, dying shortly after birth or severely damaged in the brain.

The ads, dated April 4, were condemned on Twitter after they were shared by patient safety campaigner James Titcombe on Thursday. One asked for applicants who “will be able to demonstrate their commitment and dedication to…promoting the normal route of birth and reducing intervention rates.”

Donna Ockenden, Chair of the Independent Review of Maternity Services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust
Donna Ockenden, Chair of the Independent Review of Maternity Services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

Since the Ockenden report revelations, London’s NHS Trusts have been working to discuss what they can learn from the results. In an email to staff at the Central and North West London Trust, seen by MyLondon, chief executive Claire Murdoch said she was “horrified and saddened” by the findings.

It reads: “I want to ask each team to think about what this means for all departments and what we can learn. In particular, how we listen to patients and how we create a culture where everyone has the right and duty, to talk about good care Our very human reaction to the sadness of the families at the heart of this report, must be used as a check on ourselves and on each service.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Inquiry found some babies suffered skull fractures, broken bones or developed cerebral palsy after traumatic forceps deliveries, while others were deprived of oxygen and suffered brain damage that changed their lives. The report says midwifery staff were “overconfident” in their abilities and there was a reluctance to involve more experienced staff.

A spokesperson for NHS England said: ‘We have been made aware of concerns about a number of job vacancies and will be contacting the relevant trusts to remind them of the importance of ensuring language is in line with our goal that all women have the necessary information and support to make informed, personalized and safe decisions about their care.

“Following last week’s important report by Donna Ockenden, the NHS has written to all trusts to review its recommendations and take action on the findings, to ensure that maternity services are as safe as possible for mothers. , babies and their families.

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