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Medway Foundation Trust

Medway told to improve maternity service

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Medway Foundation Trust has been warned by the Care Quality Commission that it must make urgent improvements to maternity and midwifery services after inspectors found dangerously low staffing levels.

The CQC visited maternity wards, a delivery suite and an antenatal clinic at the Kent trust’s Medway Maritime Hospital, as well as three community locations.

The report into the inspection, published last week, revealed the trust has been issued with three warning notices for failing to meet standards on staffing, supporting workers and assessing and monitoring the quality of provision.

Inspectors found staffing was a particular matter of concern, with too few midwives to give the required level of care. Midwives told the inspectors that they were expected to manage themselves.

The storage of medicinces was also flagged as an issue with intravenous fluids kept under the sink on the floor in one instance.

Adrian Hughes, regional director of the CQC in the south, said: “The report we have published today shows that the trust needs to deal with staffing levels as a matter of priority – and also to support the midwives who already work there better to perform their roles.”

The trust was one of 14 to be investigated for having consistently high mortality rates by earlier this year.

In a statement the trust said plans to increase the ratio of midwives from one to 34 mothers per annum to one to 29 mothers per annum by the end of the year were on target.

Professor Hasib Ahmed, clinical director for women’s services said: “With the support of the new chief nurse, we are making positive progress with our midwifery recruitment, appraisal and mandatory training.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Its not just maternity services. Its most wards. AE leave high risk patients in the waiting room, sadly one of these patients died, big headlines in the local newspaper. . I sat there one day when a women came in with her daughter who was clearly having an anaphalaxis, her face was swollen she could not speak because her tongue was swollen, the mother was told to wait to be triaged, there were 5 people in front of her and the nurse triaging made no attempt to prioritize this young teenage girl as an emergency despite her mother raising her concerns. The childs mother went into the main AE dept, I could see her explaining to a dr what had happened he was shaking his head but then i heard him say that he would come out and have a quick look, the look on his face said it all, this young girl was quickly brought a trolley. Things could have been so different if the mother had just accepted what she has been told and waited, in this case the young girl was rushed into the majors department. There was another incident of an elderly demented women left on her own in the waiting room scared and wanting the toilet, staff ignored her, I took her to the toilet and spent time trying to calm her down, when i spoke to the nurse she just shrugged her shoulders and walked off. Inexperienced junior staff are left to struggle, no support. Sadly on too many occasions wards are left dangerously low staffed at night, CQC really should do more unexpected visits, not just during the weekday days, but at nights and weekends. My friend who works there has said on many occasions that nothing will change until a serious incident happens. Its so sad because the majority of nurses at medway are caring and do their utmost to ensure their patients are cared for, but with low staffing levels patients are not receiving the care they need, they are put at risk. I sincerely hope that they can turn themselves around, I know they have a new director of nursing who is trying to increase staffing levels at the trust, but so much has got to change, not just systematically but those higher up need to be looking at how well their senior staff are performing especially when it comes to supporting junior members of staff......

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