independent– The NHS is to spend almost £100 million to improve safety in maternity services across England following the care scandal at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust.
Bosses at NHS England approved plans on Thursday to spend £95 million on boosting the numbers of midwives and doctors in hospitals, and increasing training for staff to help improve culture on maternity units.
In total £95 million will be spent, including £46 million on recruiting 1,000 more midwives to work in units across England, with £10 million on recruiting 80 new consultant obstetricians. More than £26 million will be spent to deliver training for both midwives and consultants to work together.
The decision is a direct response to the scandal at the Shrewsbury trust where dozens of babies and mothers died as a result of persistent poor care over many years.
Rhiannon Davies, whose daughter Kate died as a result of mistakes at the trust in 2009, reacted to the news today saying: “It’s absolutely amazing. When I found out about it I danced around the kitchen. We have campaigned for 12 years to get to this point.
“The collective weight of grief from all the families has forced NHS England to acknowledge for the first time there is a massive problem in maternity and invest to change it. This is a step change that hasn’t happened before. Over the years people told us we wouldn’t get anywhere, the system was too big, it would never change. We have proved them wrong.”
The scale of deaths and brain damaged babies at the trust, first revealed by The Independent in 2019, is the largest maternity scandal in the history of the NHS and has prompted widespread concerns over the safety of maternity services across the country.