Health & Social Care Select Committee: Safety of maternity services in England

Updated: Apr 27

Patient Safety Minister Nadine Dorries and NHS England maternity leaders returned before the Health and Social Care Committee as part of their inquiry into safety of maternity services in England.



  • Nadine Dorries MP, Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, Department of Health and Social Care

  • William Vineall, Director of NHS Quality, Safety and Investigations at Department of Health and Social Care

  • Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital; Chair, NHS England Maternity Transformation and Children and Young People Transformation programmes

  • Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity and Women's Health, NHS England

  • Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England and Improvement

Purpose of the session

The Committee explored key themes raised in the evidence heard so far including:

  • Blame culture and difficulty for staff to speak out when mistakes happen in maternity

  • The role of litigation in this

  • Inequality in maternity care

  • Staffing and training issues for midwives and clinicians

During the inquiry, the Committee heard directly from bereaved parents and those who’ve experienced poor maternity care as well as from Donna Ockenden following her first report on maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

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