Calling all midwives and health professionals: last chance to give evidence to inquiry into safety of maternity services

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Midwives and other professionals working in or with maternity services have just a week left to submit evidence to The King's Fund independent inquiry into the safety of maternity services in England.

The year-long, wide-ranging inquiry wants to hear from midwives, obstetricians, gynaecologists, administrative and managerial staff, and professionals working in primary care and in other specialties linked to maternity services. Professionals can submit evidence online. It takes just 20 minutes to answer the key questions. The closing date is 30 May.

The panel of experts need the answers to three broad questions:

  • Are there aspects of maternity services that are less safe for women and their babies than they should be? If so, what are the problems?
  • How could safety of maternity services be improved?
  • What makes it hard to introduce changes to improve the safety of maternity services?

Inquiry chair Baroness O'Neill, President of the British Academy, said:

'This is an opportunity for midwives and others working in or with maternity care to share their expertise and influence the inquiry’s recommendations. We’ve had an encouraging response so far but are very keen to hear from more professionals before the deadline.'

Notes to editors

  1. The first stage of the inquiry will close on 30 May, 2007. Oral evidence sessions will be held between June and September 2007. For further information, please contact the Fund’s Press and Public Affairs Office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581.
  2. As well as Baroness O’Neill, the inquiry panel is Jocelyn Cornwell, Visiting Fellow in Health and Social Care at the London School of Economics; Charles Vincent, Director of the Clinical Safety Research Unit at Imperial College London and Alastair Thompson, Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Dundee. The Inquiry is supported by three professional advisors: Alison Macfarlane, Professor of Perinatal Health at the School of Midwifery, City University; Lesley Page, Visiting Professor of Midwifery at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London and Zoe Penn, Clinical Director for the Women’s and Children’s Directorate at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
  3. The King’s Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health and social care, offering leadership development programmes; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.