The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today issued a warning notice downgrading the maternity services at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital to “inadequate” and Good Hope Hospital, in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham to “requires improvement”.  Concerns were identified by the CQC about a decline in the standard of care being delivered and identified a number of areas where improvements were required to ensure safe care was provided to women and babies.  Low staffing was a key theme in the findings, as well as management of the departments, particularly relating to performance, training and the reporting of risks and incidents.  It was noted that because of these findings, women didn’t always receive timely and proper treatment, placing both women and their babies at risk.

The inspection, which took place in February this year, was part of the CQC’s national maternity inspection programme.  These findings are particularly concerning, given the damning conclusions of similar reviews at other hospital trusts around the country, including Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust; both of which have been subject to review by Donna Ockenden.

At CL Medilaw we support families in getting answers following poor maternity care and have assisted clients whose cases have been included within the Ockenden review at other Hospital Trusts.  When asked about today’s CQC notice, Amy Greaves, a Senior Associate specialising in maternity claims based within our Birmingham office said:

“The findings are consistent with the problems identified when we investigate claims for injuries to mothers and babies during labour/birth.  We often see that delays in assessment at the outset of labour and failure to review during labour lead to concerning features being missed and unnecessary injury being caused.  It is particularly frustrating to read that incidents are not always investigated thoroughly or in a timely manner as it is this process that can help identify issues and improve patient safety for everyone that uses the service”.

If you have any concerns in relation to the care you or your child received at the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust or at any other hospitals across the country, please contact us on 0345 2410 154  or for a free review of your claim.

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