Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
25 June 2019
Last updated:

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On 30 April 2019 I published the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Midwives joint report, following their review of maternity services at the former Cwm Taf University Health Board. One of my immediate actions was the establishment of an Independent Maternity Services Oversight Panel. At that time I issued a draft Terms of Reference outlining the proposed role of the panel. I also issued a further statement on 23 May 2019 confirming the full panel membership.

Following my meeting on 13 May 2019 with women and families who had been affected by the findings of the review I asked Mick Giannasi, Panel Chair, to consult with families and key stakeholders about the Terms of Reference so that they all had an opportunity to provide their comments on the proposed role and functions. I want to ensure that the voices of the women and families affected are reflected in all of the oversight work. I am grateful to all those who have contributed to the process and for the support that has been offered to help the health board achieve the necessary improvements. Overall individuals and organisations were largely content with what had been proposed but a small number of suggestions have been received. I am today publishing the final Terms of Reference to confirm the key tasks that will be undertaken by the panel over the coming months.

Yesterday I met with the panel and was pleased to hear that a substantial amount of work has already taken place. This includes developing a robust process for undertaking the clinical reviews and look back exercise; ensuring effective engagement with families and staff; and monitoring the health board’s progress in implementing the maternity services improvement plan. I will issue a further statement before summer recess to update Assembly Members on progress.

Terms of Reference

Independent Maternity Services Oversight Panel – Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Purpose 

To provide the oversight* which is necessary to enable Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to implement the recommendations of the Royal Colleges’ report in a timely, open and transparent manner.

Terms of Reference
  • Establish robust arrangements which provide assurance to stakeholders that the recommendations of the Royal Colleges’ review and other associated recommendations are being implemented by the Health Board. Set and agree milestones and deliverables and track progress against them
  • Establish and agree an independent multidisciplinary process to clinically review the 2016-2019 serious incidents identified by the Royal Colleges as requiring further investigation. Conduct a ‘look back’ exercise to 2010 and ensure that anyone who has justified concerns about their care is provided with the opportunity for it to be reviewed. Ensure that any learning which emerges from these reviews is acted upon by the Health Board and others
  • Advise the Health Board on the actions it needs to take to establish effective engagement arrangements which actively involve patients and staff in the improvement of maternity and neonatal services and rebuild wider public trust and confidence in the Health Board
  • Escalate any wider governance related issues or concerns which emerge to the Health Board and Welsh Government as appropriate
  • Advise the minister on any further action which the Panel considers necessary to ensure the provision of safe, sustainable, high quality, patient centred maternity and neonatal services. This should include advice about the need for, and timing of, any follow-up independent reviews and the identification of any wider lessons for the NHS in Wales.

*By the term ‘oversight’ we mean an objectively derived blend of measures (including target setting, monitoring, scrutiny, challenge, reality testing, guidance, encouragement and support) which in combination, provide assurance to stakeholders (including patients, staff and the wider public) that the Health Board is delivering the improvements which it is required to deliver.