London, 13th May 2024: Once again, we are appalled to hear about harrowing experiences of maternity care in the report, Listen to Mums: Ending the Postcode Lottery on Perinatal Care, published today.

Once again, we hear about poor communication between staff and patients, departmental cultures that allow unkind, uncompassionate care, lack of pain relief, and how women from minority communities have the worst of experiences.

In 2022, when Dr Bill Kirkup published the independent review into maternity and neonatal services in East Kent, he said: “It is too late to pretend that this is just another one-off, isolated failure, a freak event that ‘will never happen again’.”

His report, like previous independent reviews into maternity services, made several recommendations, as today’s report has. The problems with maternity care have been clearly identified and solutions suggested. Some will take time and money to implement. But patients need to have confidence that these recommendations are being implemented across maternity services, monitored and enforced when they are not met.

We ask a question we’ve posed before: does every maternity service have to be investigated in order to learn how to provide safe and compassionate care?

Rachel Power