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.”
23 October 2013