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Protect statement: Shrewsbury & Telford NHS Trust maternity scandal

Protect Chief Executive Francesca West said, “The leaked report into the maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust are deeply upsetting and shocking. Our immediate concerns go out to all the families affected.

What is very hard to comprehend is the sheer scale and length of time very serious issues have been able to continue in the maternity unit, unchecked. 

The pressures and challenges facing the NHS are well documented, and through our own training work with NHS Trusts, we know  some of the struggles staff are up against. But it is during such pressured times, particularly as our NHS is facing now, staff need to feel safe to speak up more, to stop harm. They need to be enabled and supported to speak up and raise concerns when they see or hear them. If the culture and senior leadership is so toxic they don’t bother to do so, or they feel they will be ignored, or worse, penalised for doing so, they will stay silent.

In our experience, where staff are unable to raise concerns elsewhere, they may resort to leaking reports. News reports claim the Trust has a toxic culture. We know transforming an organisation be it a hospital trust, financial organisation, global aid charity, retailer, or whatever type of business, is extremely difficult – but it needs to come from the top. We would be very interested to find out just what measures senior management and Board members were doing to fix the issues in this Trust – but more importantly – what they plan to do now to turn the Trust around.”