Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/nclexion/public_html/wp-content/themes/jnews/class/ContentTag.php on line 47
The government has pledged half-a-million pounds to provide new training to maternity leaders across England in a bid to improve multidisciplinary working in these services and ultimately make them safer places to receive care.
Patient safety minister Nadine Dorries (pictured above), a nurse by background, launched the “innovative” training programme today in response to findings from recent maternity safety inquiries as well as lessons emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In particular, leadership was identified as a key issue in the interim report published in December from Donna Ockenden’s independent review of mother and baby deaths and harm at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust.
The review found there was a disconnect between ‘ward and board’ in maternity services as well as problems in communication and collaboration between the different professions working in these environments.
Ms Dorries has now committed £500,000 to provide leadership training and ongoing support to 700 maternity leaders across England, including heads of midwifery, clinical directors, leaders of local maternity systems and regional chief midwives.
The programme will be rolled out later this year with the aim of equipping leaders with the skills and knowledge to improve workplace culture and facilitate greater collaborative working between midwives, obstetricians, nurses and doctors.
Those who complete the training will also develop executive-level skills in other key areas such as proactively responding to risk, learning from errors and near misses, effective engagement with families, and enabling safety and quality improvement.
In addition, the government announced plans to introduce a new “core curriculum” of training for all professionals working in maternity and neonatal services in the hope of addressing “variation in skills and safety training across England”.
Ms Dorries said: “The shocking and tragic findings of the Ockenden review highlighted the importance of strengthening maternity leadership and oversight as well as fostering more collaborative approaches within maternity and neonatal services.
“I’m pleased to announce a new training programme for NHS maternity leaders, which will empower nurses, midwives and obstetricians to get the best out of their teams, and deliver safe, world-class care to mothers and their babies.”
The announcement was welcomed by the Royal College of Midwives, which has been campaigning for improved maternity leadership in trusts since 2019.
RCM chief executive Gill Walton said: “Strong maternity leadership is crucial if we are to meet the challenges currenting facing our maternity services.
“Working relationships within maternity services are key to improving safety.
“By equipping more midwives and obstetricians with the skills to improve workplace culture, we will improve safety too.”