Care Quality Commission Find Some Part Of Service ‘Not Fit For Purpose’
Specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have spoken of their concern after a health watchdog downgraded maternity services at two Birmingham hospitals.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a warning notice for the service at Heartlands Hospital after rating it ‘inadequate’. It found parts of the service was “not fit for purpose”.
Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield has been told by inspectors that its service ‘requires improvement’.
The ratings were published on 7 June as part of a report following a CQC inspection in February. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospitals said it was working to make improvements.
Lawyers supporting families concerned about Birmingham maternity care
Expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have represented and continue to represent dozens of families with concerns about the care they received at Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals.
The firm also represents hundreds of families affected by maternity care failings across the country. It’s campaigning for improvements in maternity care nationally.
Sara Burns, is an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office who represents families with maternity care concerns at Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals.
Expert Opinion“Patient safety should be the fundamental priority in all care, therefore the CQC’s findings are extremely worrying.
“What’s of particular concern is that inspectors said they found the service at Heartlands didn’t have enough staff to keep patients safe and that managers didn’t always investigate incidents thoroughly.
“Sadly these findings aren’t an isolated incident. High profile failings connected to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals and East Kent as well as concerns around services in Nottingham and other Hospital Trusts, all point to widespread and deep-rooted problems nationally.
“While we welcome the Trust’s pledge that it is working to improve care, it’s vital that decisive action is taken to address the issues raised by the CQC.
“Through our work we continue to see too many families left to pick up the pieces following maternity failings. We continue to support those families we represent but also anticipate that others may well have further questions and concerns following this report. Therefore, it’s important that they receive the help and support they may require to be given the answers they deserve.” Sara Burns
CQC findings into Heartlands Hospital maternity service
Heartlands Hospital’s maternity services had previously been classed as ‘requiring improvement’. In its report the CQC issued a warning calling on UHBT to focus on rapidly making the necessary improvements" at Heartlands, the BBC reports.
Other findings of the CQC included:
• Heartlands didn’t have enough staff to care for women and keep them safe.
• A lack of sufficient and suitable waiting for patients meant the environment in parts was “not fit for purpose.”
• Patients weren’t always reviewed in a timely manner in the pregnancy assessment emergency room, putting the safety of people "at risk".
• Over the last year there had been care and treatment delays and managers hadn’t always investigated incidents thoroughly, inspectors found.
Good Hope Hospital findings
At Good Hope the service was downgraded from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’
The CQC’s findings included:
• It wasn’t always clear if action had been taken or followed up following the reporting of risks.
• Mandatory and maternity specific training in key skills to all staff was offered but didn’t ensure everyone had completed it.
• Staff knew how to make a safeguarding referral and who to inform if they had concerns.
• Women and birthing people could reach call bells and staff responded quickly when called.
Following the inspection report UHBT said while the service was facing significant challenges, it had worked to make improvements.
It said the care and safety of women and their families was its priority.
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families with concerns about maternity care at our dedicated medical negligence section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.