Invited review from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

In September 2017, the Trust asked the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to visit us to provide independent support as part of a review of recent incidents in our maternity services. Following their visit, the RCOG made some recommendations which the Trust followed immediately.

We understand the anxiety this might cause, but the Trust would like to reassure people that this has been a rigorous process, where we actively identified concerns, acted on them and learned from them, and that ensuring the on-going safety of the unit is our top priority. As part of this process, we have also asked for support from an external head of midwifery and we have taken immediate action to address the recommendations made by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), following their visit in October 2017.

The CQC report (published January 2018) recognised the Trust’s commitment to making improvements in the maternity department, stating:

“The Trust was responding to the safety concerns within the maternity unit. There was a line of sight up to the board. The executives and relevant stakeholders were having regular oversight of the department. External reviews had been requested and completed separately by a head of midwifery and the RCOG. The Trust were learning from incidents and making changes to improve safety and governance.”

The Trust received the full report from RCOG in December 2017, and has taken action to address the further recommendations within it.

The Trust has taken the following actions in line with the RCOG visit/report:

  • Implemented changes to working rotas
  • Increased medical cover in the unit
  • Started recruiting to new posts
  • Increased our focus on training and skills
  • Made improvements to governance and incident review processes

We are not able to publish the full report because we have a duty to respect the confidentiality of staff and patients. However, in the interests of being open and transparent, we have published the executive summary of the report here, which outlines its contents.

Review of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Services at North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (executive summary) (pdf)

Last updated: February 12, 2018