A report on an NHS trust facing serious concerns over its quality of care after the deaths of two pregnant women will be published by the health watchdog on Thursday.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will reveal the findings of its investigation into Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust in Essex.
The chief executive of the trust apologised in September for failings in the standard of care given to two women who died after using its maternity service.
Violet Stephens died in Queen’s Hospital, Romford, in April, after being admitted with pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition in pregnant women.
Channel 4 News said a report into her death uncovered a “succession of failures” in her care.
The serious untoward incident report found there was a failure to administer a blood transfusion as planned, a delay in making the decision to deliver her baby, and when she was found unresponsive with gasping breath, it took 25 minutes for a cardiac arrest call to be made, the news programme said.
Tebussum Ali, known as Sareena, died along with her newborn baby at the hospital in January.
The report into those deaths said hospital staff failed to spot the signs of a ruptured womb and then tried to resuscitate Ms Ali with a disconnected oxygen mask, according to Channel 4 News.
The CQC began its probe into the trust in June after an inspection of Queen’s Hospital raised major concerns.
Inspectors found women delivering their babies on antenatal wards instead of labour wards, a shortage of midwives and some staff working beyond their expertise.
Midwives told inspectors they were concerned about the lack of equipment, and inspectors themselves noticed parts were missing from equipment.
Written reports showed “significant delays in patients going to theatre or receiving requested pain relief and babies being born in inappropriate locations”, inspectors said.
Staff reported only one paediatrician covering 39 patients on the postnatal ward as well as all patients on the labour ward who had just given birth.
By the time the investigation was launched, improvements had been made but not enough to satisfy the CQC that everything was being done to ensure patient safety.
The CQC has a range of powers, including the ability to close wards and hospitals.