Government Response to Kirkup Report in East Kent

The government published its full response to 'Reading the signals: maternity and neonatal services in East Kent - the report of the independent investigation' on 20 July 2023 which follows on from the work outlined in the single delivery plan released in March.

The Kirkup report identified four key areas for action:

  • Identifying poorly performing units.
  • Giving care with compassion and kindness.
  • Teamworking with a common purpose.
  • Responding to challenge with honesty.

Key recommendations for perinatal services are: To establish of a task force to drive the introduction of valid maternity and neonatal outcome measures capable of differentiating signals among noise to display significant trends and outliers, for mandatory national use. The Maternity and Neonatal Outcomes Group is an important component of this. It is led by Dr Edile Murdoch and BAPM as well as other neonatologists are represented on this group.

2i) Those responsible for undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing clinical education be commissioned to report on how compassionate care can best be embedded into practice and sustained through lifelong learning.

2ii) Relevant bodies, including royal colleges, professional regulators and employers, be commissioned to report on how the oversight and direction of clinicians can be improved, with nationally agreed standards of professional behaviour and appropriate sanctions for non-compliance.

3i) Relevant bodies, including RCOG, RCM and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, be charged with reporting on how teamworking in maternity and neonatal care can be improved, with particular reference to establishing common purpose, objectives and training from the outset.

3ii) Relevant bodies, including Health Education England, royal colleges and employers, be commissioned to report on the employment and training of junior doctors to improve support, teamworking and development.
Recommendations 2 and 3 are relevant to professional bodies and BAPM will work with RCPCH where necessary to support implementation. The BAPM Perinatal Culture document is highly relevant to supporting recommendation 3.

You can read the full government response here and the RCPCH response to the report here.

This is the fifth Member Bulletin in a series designed to help members navigate the increasing number of national reports and initiatives across the UK. We are also undertaking an internal review of actions from national reports to ascertain where BAPM may be able to provide further information and support for our members. 

British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) is registered in England & Wales under charity number 1199712 at 5-11 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8SH.
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