Agenda item



Members to receive a report providing assurance that the LLR Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) have addressed the immediate and essential actions in relation to the Interim Ockenden Report published in December 2020 (Part 1).


The Committee received a report updating on maternal healthcare and services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and details of how the LLR Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) had addressed the immediate and essential actions in relation to the Interim Ockenden Report published in December 2020 (Part 1).


Julie Hogg Chief Nurse, Leicester Hospitals, introduced the report, briefly referring to the background that led to this point and gave an overview of the findings from the report and the immediate actions required following the independent review.


Elaine Broughton, Head of Midwifery at UHL highlighted the 7 immediate and essential actions to improve care and safety in maternity services as set out in the report namely: Enhanced Safety; Listening to Women; Staff Training and working together; Managing Complex Pregnancy; Risk assessment through pregnancy; Monitoring foetal wellbeing and Informed Consent. There were all considered to be important and pertinent to the services UHL provided.


It was noted that maternity services across LLR had met a number of the actions prior to the interim Ockenden report and had embedded and introduced further actions. Regular monitoring of the actions introduced was taking place through audit and spot checks and a maternity services self-assessment had been completed against the final plan whilst the final Ockenden report was awaited.


Members expressed some concern at the number of Trusts where maternity services were not what they should be.


Working across 2 sites continued to be challenging however as both were very large covering Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and provided acute services too. Both sites were well covered at the moment, but UHL was aware of the risk of coming under pressure.


Members noted that in terms of addressing challenges such as midwife shortages a lot of work had been done around recruitment and working on retention of midwives. This was a national issue which NHS England had provided money to address the situation going forward and Leicester was in a better position as a university hospital in that it was able to provide qualified midwives.


There was the option for qualified nurses to go on to undertake midwifery training, but some people were put off having to pay additional 2 years university fees, the Health Education funding being made available would support Band 5 pay and the fees during that training period so that was being promoted. There were 7 nurses re-training in the current cohort and more coming forward.

UHL were also going out to international midwives and provided a robust programme to support them which also helped with addressing culture too.


Members noted that nationally there was a lot being done to train, recruit and attract people into the midwifery service. Unfortunately, it was often the case when a report such as Ockenden published that some people left.


UHL were investing time and resource into developing their own midwives, providing support for health and wellbeing and improving culture. The effects were being felt positively and improvements could be seen.


Members welcomed the report and especially the steps taken to undergo more risk assessments throughout pregnancies and recognition of the lessons to be learnt. Members were also pleased to see that steps were being taken to address health and wellbeing of staff and commented that good training for anyone coming into the field was essential.



1.    That the contents of the report be noted,

2.      That a further update on progress be brought to a future meeting.

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