Our chief executive, Clea Harmer, visited 10 Downing Street this afternoon.
Clea was invited by Judy Ledger, Chief Executive of Baby LifeLine, to present an open letter to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson that calls for the government to reinstate the Maternity Safety Training Fund to help to improve maternity safety.
When the £8.1m Maternity Safety Training Fund was released in 2016 it gave over 30,000 maternity healthcare professionals access to training that they would not otherwise have had.
Independent evaluation showed that the fund had an overwhelmingly positive impact, though it was not continued beyond its first year.
The UK is a safe place for women to give birth, but improvements need to be made to ensure every maternity experience is as safe as possible.
Poor maternity care can result in avoidable deaths and injuries to mothers and babies across the UK, costing billions of pounds to the National Health Service in resultant litigation costs.
Of course, these financial costs say nothing of the toll on families whose baby died or was harmed, or a mother who received life-changing injuries or never came home.
Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands, said: “We cannot continue to fail families and NHS health professionals by reporting the problems without investing in the recommended solutions. This is why we are appealing to the government for the Maternity Safety Training Fund to be re-instated as part of the 2020 Budget.
“We are calling upon Boris Johnson and the government to help improve maternity safety as a matter of urgency to help prevent avoidable tragedies. Appropriate investment will result in better retention rates and will improve the morale and general wellbeing of our NHS workforce.”
By reintroducing dedicated funding for maternity training, the government can hopefully achieve its national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirth, neonatal death and brain injury by 2025.
The open letter from Clea and Judy ends with a strong message to the government: “The cost of inaction, both financial and human, far outweighs the cost of adequate training. Please commit to making the change now.”
For further information visit our Safer Care page.
Picture: Clea Harmer and Judy Ledger deliver the open letter to Number 10.