NMC statement in response to publication of the Ockenden Maternity Review

Published on 30 March 2022

Read our statement below:

Responding to the final Ockenden report of the Independent Review of maternity services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar at the NMC, said:

“Today’s report sets out appalling and long-standing failures in maternity care and leadership at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust. Each of these cases is a family tragedy, with some affected more than once.  My heart goes out to all the women, babies and families whose lives have been so terribly impacted by these shocking failings in care.

“It’s down to the sheer determination and bravery of grieving families that these systemic failures have now been recognised. Women and families should have been listened to and taken seriously far sooner. Donna Ockenden and her team have undertaken crucial work pointing the way to make sustainable improvements in maternity care. It is essential that families are heard, staff are able to speak up and concerns are acted upon.

“Our evidence based Future Midwife Standards are there to support midwives to deliver the safest, person-centred care for women and babies.  This includes knowing when things are going wrong and making sure the right actions are taken in response. To ensure these Standards are fully implemented in education and practice, maternity services across the country must be properly resourced, with sustained investment in continuing professional development. 

“Safe care for mothers and babies happens when maternity services have a fair culture, strong multidisciplinary relationships and an open approach if there’s a concern.  Where referrals are made to us, we’ll always consider these carefully, taking account of the wider context when deciding the appropriate action to take in relation to individuals.

"Safe, kind maternity care must be a reality for everyone, everywhere.”


For further media enquiries, please contact the NMC press office via email media@nmc-uk.org

About the NMC

•  Our vision is safe, effective and kind nursing and midwifery that improves everyone’s health and wellbeing. As the professional regulator of almost 745,000 professionals, including 46,000 midwives we have an important role to play in making this a reality.

• Our core role is to regulate. We maintain the register of professionals eligible to practise. We set education and professional standards for midwives and nursing professionals across the UK. We make sure education and training meets the high standards we set through our quality assurance processes. Professionals and their employers are responsible for ensuring our standards are followed in practice and that care is as good as it can possibly be. If something goes wrong, we can investigate concerns about professionals. We believe in giving professionals the chance to address concerns, but we’ll always take action when needed.

• To regulate well, we support our professions and the public. We create resources and guidance that are useful throughout people’s careers, helping them to deliver our standards in practice and address new challenges.

• Regulating and supporting our professions allows us to influence health and social care. We share intelligence from our regulatory activities and work with our partners to support workforce planning and sector-wide decision making. We use our voice to speak up for a healthy and inclusive working environment for our professions.

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