The Terms of Reference of the Independent Investigation into East Kent Maternity Services have been published today. The independent investigation was ordered by Government following requests from me and other local MPs.
It will be led by maternity expert Dr Bill Kirkup and five experts across the fields of obstetrics, midwifery, neonatal medicine, clinical governance and information management. The investigation began in April, with the first phase involving contacting families affected.
The Terms of Reference include the scope and arrangements that are to be put in place and confirm the Independent Investigation will examine maternity and neonatal services in East Kent, in the period since 2009, when the Trust came into being, until 2020.
I am pleased to see that the Terms of Reference for this vital investigation have now been published.
In my speech to Parliament last year, I highlighted the importance of leadership, standards and strong procedures. It is about culture—accepting responsibility when things go wrong, ensuring that there is accountability when life is unnecessarily lost, and showing compassion to those who have suffered when mistakes are made.
I welcome the changes which the Trust has already implemented in order to improve their maternity services, but more must be done in order to deliver immediate improvements, as well as a further and detailed review of the culture of the Trust.
I would like to pay tribute to the brave families who have come forward to the Kirkup enquiry to make sure lessons are learnt and other families don’t suffer devastating avoidable deaths or serious injury.