‘This cannot go on’: NHS maternity care report’s author calls for fresh approach

The author of a report into the care provided to women and babies at an NHS trust has said things need to be done differently ahead of its publication.

Dr Bill Kirkup, who chaired an expert panel into the study on East Kent Hospitals University NHS foundation trust, said he “did not imagine” he would be talking about similar circumstances again following his investigation into Morecambe Bay in 2015.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “When I reported on Morecambe Bay maternity services in 2015, I did not imagine for one moment that I would be back in seven years’ time talking about a rather similar set of circumstances and that there would have been another two large, high-profile maturity failures as well on top of that.

“This cannot go on. We have to address this in a different way. We can’t simply respond to each one as if it’s a one-off, as if this is the last time this will happen. We have to do things differently.”

Kirkup said an expert panel investigating maternity care at East Kent Hospitals University NHS foundation trust had heard “harrowing accounts” from families during their work.

He told the Today programme: “We’ve heard from a lot of families, a lot of harrowing accounts. I’ll be setting all of that later for the families first and then for everybody, but there were a lot of common factors.

“My heart goes out to everybody that this has happened to.”

Questioned about some families receiving care without compassion, he said: “I’ll be setting that out in some detail in the recommendations … what I would say at this point is I understand that people work under pressure, [but] that doesn’t excuse or explain being rude or aggressive. That’s a different set of problems.”

Kirkup will be issuing his report to the families involved prior to publishing the report.

source: theguardian.com