NHS boss unable to give precise plan for next seven days following Ockenden report release

ITV News Central Presenter Sameena Ali-Khan interviews the Chief Executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust over the Ockenden 2022 report findings

The Chief Executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust could not disclose the exact steps she will put in place in the next seven days following the Ockenden 2022 report findings.

Louise Barnett, who is the Chief Executive of the NHS trust at the centre of England's NHS maternity scandal, told ITV Central: "We are very, very sorry for the poor care in our communities."

Her comments come as the Ockenden report, an independent inquiry led by midwife Donna Ockenden into the maternity care provided at Shropshire hospitals, found some 201 babies and nine mothers could have survived if an NHS trust had provided better care.

When asked by ITV News Central Presenter Sameena Ali-Khan what changes she is going to put in place in the next seven days, Ms Barnett said: "Gosh, that's a really interesting question, um, firstly, I just want to reiterate that we are very, very sorry for the poor care in our communities and for the pain and distress caused and we do welcome this report today."

She adds: "It's a really extensive report so we haven't had the opportunity to consider that thoroughly at this stage, and we have teams that will be going through that now and over coming days and as things are highlighted."

'We will take action where we deem them appropriate'

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust Credit: PA

When asked whether there was anything specific that Ms Barnett would change at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, she said: "One of the things that I am doing is ensuring that we reiterate to staff the importance of being able to speak out.

"I think there have been some comments made about concerns that staff don't feel able to do that within the organisation and one of the most important things to us is our culture change programme and that's absolutely at the heart of improvement.

"And whilst Donna has acknowledged the willingness of the staff to learn and improve, it is essential that they feel able to speak out.

"And also that we hear the voices of women and families as well, so I would want to reiterate that and make sure that all of our channels are in place and that people are aware of those and so if they have things that they want to share, we're able to act on those and support them."

'I'm not considering my position as Chief Executive'

When asked by ITV News Central Presenter Sameena Ali-Khan about whether she is considering her position, Ms Barnett replied: "Firstly, no. I'm not considering my position as Chief Executive.

"Now my job is to make sure that we embrace this report and we bring about positive change, building on the work we've done to ensure we have the safest possible care for the families that we care for in our communities and we are absolutely committed to doing that."

When asked how those positive changes are going to be put in place when senior members of staff that presided over the inadequate investigations are still in place, Ms Barnett said: "We've investigated heavily in our services in order to bring about change, not only in terms of more midwives and consultants but also in leadership and training.

"Lots of skills training including in fetal monitoring training and other areas as well to ensure we can be confident about the changes we are making.

"We are also taking an open and transparent approach so I'm making sure that we are sharing what we are doing with many organisations and people with different backgrounds and experiences - both in healthcare but also our voices maternity partnership, women and our own colleagues.

"And it's down to all the support we are receiving and the comments and the ideas and the scrutiny, we are under tremendous scrutiny, I am confident we are making improvements but we have got more to go."

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