Maternity services at East Kent Hospitals told they must improve immediately

By Blackwater Law

people in a hospital waiting room

Following an unannounced inspection in January, inspectors found serious problems with the care provided at the hospitals.

CQC Findings

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out the unannounced inspection after concerns were raised about the culture and quality of the maternity services at William Harvey Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital.

Immediately following the inspections, the CQC imposed urgent conditions on the trust, that it must adhere to, to improve care.

Following the inspections, care ratings for maternity services at both hospitals have been downgraded to ‘inadequate.’

At William Harvey Hospital, the CQC found:

  • Staff did not always seek a second opinion when making decisions. This is key for ensuring good practice.
  • Services were not always accessible to women and people who wanted to use them
  • There were delays to discharges and these were not monitored
  • Day care and triage facilities were chaotic.
  • Some areas of maternity wards were small, and not fit for purpose.
  • An automatic hinge on a fire door had been removed, meaning the door would not automatically close in the event of a fire.
  • The fire exit route through the labour ward was cluttered because of a lack of storage on the ward.

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At Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital they also found that the service was not properly monitoring who was exiting the facility, a potential security risk. The abduction policy used by the facility was also found to be out of date.

The full report can be found on the CQC’s Website.

Deanna Westwood, CQC’s director of operations south, said:

“Over the last few years we have monitored the maternity services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust closely, and where we have found action is needed this has been made clear so that the trust knows exactly where it must make improvements.

“Yet despite this we still found concerns and it is extremely disappointing that this latest inspection found a further decline in the quality of care people were receiving. That is why we have used our urgent enforcement powers to require immediate improvements. In particular we identified concerns around the use of resuscitation equipment at both hospitals we inspected. Babies needing emergency resuscitation were taken to a resuscitative device – however in some cases these were outside the labour room and in the corridor.”

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

Supporting birth injury sufferers for a decade.

If you or a loved one has suffered a result of poor maternity care administered by East Kent Hospitals, you should speak to a birth injury solicitor about your options for possible recourse.

Blackwater Law has been supporting and getting compensation for birth injury sufferers 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.

Have you or a loved one suffered from poor maternity care?

Speak with one of our expert solicitors today, and find out if you could be owed compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500