How organisation values and engagement with service users can impact on care quality and experience

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TheKirkup Report(Kirkup 2015), commissioned by the Department of Health (DH) to investigate maternity and neonatal services at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, was a watershed moment for maternity services across the country and led to a complete change in how the midwifery profession is regulated. Failures in robust reporting and investigation of serious incidents, along with an ‘us and them' culture between different professions working within the NHS and a misguided value set of ‘natural childbirth' at any cost, are all cited as either directly or indirectly leading to the preventable deaths of one mother and 11 babies (Kirkup 2015). Just two years later, the health secretary has requested an investigation into a number of deaths of babies at an NHS Trust in the Midlands, after seven have been deemed avoidable.


The purpose of this paper is to look at organisational values and culture, in relation to active stakeholder engagement, and reflect on how these things can impact on care quality and user experience. It is imperative to know how we can ensure incidences, such as those at Morecambe Bay, do not ever happen again. To do this, we will need to look closely at stakeholder engagement: what it is, and how it can be achieved, along with its relevance in the commissioning and monitoring of maternity services. How values affect decisions made, at both individual and organisational level, will need to be explored, so we can analyse how organisational values also impact on care quality and user experience.

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