Medical Negligence Experts Representing Number Of Families Affected By Care Issues At Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
Specialist lawyers have spoken of their concern after it emerged that mums and babies are being left at risk at one of the country’s largest Hospital Trusts.
Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission has published a report following an unannounced inspection at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Despite previous warning inspectors found maternity services at the Trust’s Jessop Wing had not improved or had “deteriorated further”, reports the BBC.
The visit, which formed part of a wider review of services across the Trust, came after a CQC inspection six months earlier following which the Jessop Wing was classed as “inadequate.”
Lawyers representing families with maternity care concerns
The latest report comes days after a damning report into maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals found widespread issues at that Trust dating back nearly 20 years. The independent review lead by former midwife Donna Ockenden made a series of recommendations for improving maternity services, not only in Shrewsbury and Telford but nationally.
Expert medical negligence lawyers at Sheffield-based Irwin Mitchell have represented and continue to represent families affected by maternity care, including deaths and birth injuries at Trusts across the country, including in Sheffield, Shrewsbury and Telford as well as Nottingham.
Following the CQC’s re-inspection in Sheffield the legal experts now calling on the Trust to ensure it upholds its pledge to improve safety and services.
Expert Opinion“Patient safety should be the fundamental priority in all care. The CQC’s findings, not only regarding maternity care in Sheffield but services across the wider Trust are extremely worrying.
“What’s of particular concern is that inspectors say they failed to see improvements in maternity care in the city. Sadly what’s happened in Sheffield isn’t an isolated incident. High profile failings connected to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals and concerns around services in East Kent, Nottingham, and more recently Basildon, all point to widespread and deep-rooted problems nationally.
“Sadly through our work we too often see the catastrophic consequences families are left to face following failings in maternity care. Behind each case is a human story of how families have been devastated by medical errors, many of which are often avoidable.
“While we welcome pledges to improve hospital services in Sheffield we hope that meaningful action is taken to ensure this happens.
“In the meantime we continue to support families we represent and are determined to provide them with the answers they deserve. We continue to campaign for improvements, particularly around maternity safety, as evidenced in our submission to the Health Committee’s Maternity Safety Call for Evidence.” Julianne Moore - Partner
Jessop Wing CQC findings
The CQC’s unannounced inspection was last October. Inspectors found:
- There were not enough midwifery and medical staff with the "right qualifications, skills and training to keep women and babies safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care and treatment"
- "Significant concerns about the assessment of patients in the labour ward assessment unit, maternity staffing and delays in induction of labour"
- Foetal monitoring - previously highlighted as a concern by inspectors - "continued to lack urgency and pace in implementing actions and recommendations".
- Pain relief in labour was not always given in a timely way nor were assessments always regular
- "Staff did not always treat women with compassion and kindness, respect their privacy and dignity, or take account of their individual needs"
- Staff reported difficulties summoning assistance when a woman's health deteriorated
- Key information was not always included at shift changes and handovers.
Northern General and Royal Hallamshire also inspected
Inspectors also looked at urgent and emergency care at the Northern General, medicine and surgery at the Royal Hallamshire.
The Trust’s overall rating was downgraded from good to requires improvement.
The Trust said it was “devastated” by the findings and said it would make changes. It added that more than 500 nurses had been recruited and were working on wards. There had also been changes to maternity services, including investing in more midwives.
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