Maternity services at Colchester General Hospital told it ‘requires improvement.’

By Blackwater Law

baby and mother holding hands

Following a previous inspection in 2021, the maternity services have again been graded as ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC.

CQC Findings

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out the inspections following concerns raised by whistle-blowers working at the hospital, who raised concerns over safety and culture within the maternity department.

The hospital, run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, faced staffing and infection control issues.

The inspectors found:

  • A lack of staff in the department meant that patient safety was compromised. Not everyone was able to receive one-to-one care, and there was a risk care would not be provided in a timely manner if required.
  • Leadership did not always take action when concerns were raised, and staff reported feeling unsupported and devalued.
  • Best practice was not always followed to ensure protection from infections.

The full report is available to read on the CQC’s website.

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Hazel Roberts, CQC deputy director of operations in the East of England, said:

“When we visited maternity services at Colchester General Hospital, we were disappointed to see some issues found at our last inspection remained unresolved, particularly around staffing and training for medical staff. These staffing issues were affecting the quality of care being given to women, people using services, and their babies.

“Due to the triage and the day assessment unit being merged, our inspectors found there weren’t enough staff to triage people who called or attended the department in a timely manner. Staff were carrying out too many roles, meaning there was a risk doctors weren’t providing treatment quickly enough to those who needed it.

“We also saw these low staffing levels and the unstable leadership team affect staff morale. In a recent trust staff survey the women’s and children division, which included maternity, scored lower than the hospital on all nine questions, such as teamwork, staff engagement and morale.

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Positive Feedback

As part of the report, the CQC did identify positive practices at the hospital.

  • The trust had a clear strategy for improvement, and staff were committed to improving the service.
  • It was noted that maternity staff worked well together.

Supporting birth injury sufferers in Essex and Suffolk for a decade.

If you or a loved one has suffered from poor maternity care administered by Colchester General Hospital, you should speak to a birth injury solicitor about your options for possible recourse.

Blackwater Law have been supporting and getting compensation for birth injury sufferers in Essex and Suffolk for a decade. As experts in maternity-related claims, we can get the answers and support you need.

You may be entitled to make a no-win, no-fee birth injury or medical negligence compensation claim to help you secure the funding, or the treatments required to put things right.

Blackwater Law successfully represented the family of baby Blake in making a midwife negligence claim after the community midwife failed to notice a severe medical abnormality.

New-born baby in hospital