Responding to the publication of the Ockenden Maternity Review report, the Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Deans of Health, Dr Katerina Kolyva, said
“Following the publication of the Ockenden Report, I want to express the sincere sympathy of the Council to the families and all those for whom this will be a reminder of the suffering already endured. It should not have taken such hard campaigning to get to this point. The cases reported are shameful and universities must play their part in ensuring this never happens again.
Our members will focus on how lessons can be learned for the delivery of high quality education for future midwives. Crucially, students, educators in practice and staff must continue to be encouraged, enabled and equipped to raise any concerns appropriately and we will be working on how to improve this system further.
Universities have a key role to play in ensuring relationships with their practice partners remain strong and they act upon feedback from students. It is important that all midwives are offered the chance for continuous education and development to grow and improve in their work.
The Ockenden Report makes significant recommendations on workforce. We as the sector organisation responsible for educating the future midwifery workforce are clear that priority must be given to investment in the future workforce but also the education workforce that supports students. We therefore want to see increasing education and practice staffing numbers to match student recruitment.
While I acknowledge progress already made and know the vast majority of midwives are doing an excellent job, it will be of little comfort to those still suffering from failures that should have been avoided. We will be working with Government, regulators and our members to ensure that these horrific events are not repeated and that women’s voices are heard.”