RCPCH responds to the publication of a ‘deep dive’ review of maternity services at Cwm Taf

Following publication of a report by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives in 2019 that identified significant improvements to maternity services needed at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, the Welsh Government set up an Independent Maternity Services Oversight Panel. The Panel is there to ensure that recommendations from that review are implemented. Last year, the Panel announced that it would conduct a further ‘deep dive’ review of neonatal services at Cwm Taf. Yesterday, the Panel published findings from that ‘deep dive’.

Commenting on the report, RCPCH Officer for Wales Dr David Tuthill said:

We welcome the publication of this deep dive into neonatal services at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and note both the progress that has been made but also the significant challenges still to be fully addressed.

The breadth of the Panel’s findings around governance, leadership, data, integration, breastfeeding support and most importantly the experience of families themselves, shows that it is vital that stakeholders work together to deliver the report’s recommendations. We must ensure that families get the best possible care, as they deserve.

We are concerned about the report’s findings about understaffing and in particular that medical staffing arrangements did not meet British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) standards. The response from the Health Board that they have recently recruited additional consultants is welcome news. However, we reiterate our call for all stakeholders to invest in the child health workforce to deliver sustainable staffing of paediatric and neonatal services to enable the delivery of recognised and agreed standards of care and service to families.

We await the next progress report, which we hope will demonstrate that improvements identified are being delivered at pace.