East Kent hospitals: The baby death trust faces safety demands

the newborn child's feet

Two hospitals run by the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust are required to provide the health watchdog with monthly updates on their maternity services.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) requires safety reports from the William Harvey in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in Margate.

Numerous infant deaths occurred at the trust, according to a 2022 review.

The trust declared that it was working to address the CQC's concerns and that it took them "very seriously.".

After the CQC declared that conditions were still unsafe, the trust started implementing an action plan.

Several issues were discovered during the inspection, according to Carolyn Jenkinson of the CQC, including "the availability of regularly serviced equipment, processes for monitoring women and babies whose conditions deteriorate, and risks of cross infection due to poor standards of cleanliness.".

"We recognize that some of the issues identified will require resources and greater external support to fully address, as they are directly related to the building's state of repair and the physical estate limitations.

"However, we are deeply concerned about the ongoing, increased risk of patient harm, and we believe that the trust needs to be more aware of the interim measures that can be taken to ensure patient safety and higher standards of care. ".

The feet of a new born child
In October, a unbiased investigation discovered that at least 45 infants may have lived.

By 20 February, both hospitals "must implement an effective system for assessing, managing, and monitoring the safety of the environment and equipment," according to the CQC.

The trust must also update the CQC by the last Friday of every month with information about daily equipment and quality checks as well as clinical audits.

According to the CQC, the William Harvey's monthly report must also "set out the actions taken to ensure the system in place for assessing, managing, and monitoring the safety of women and babies using cardiotocography (CTG) monitoring and fresh eyes/ears at the maternity service is effective.". ".

Additionally, the midwifery led unit's "leaking roofs and bowing doors" need to be fixed, and the QEQM has been instructed to provide regular updates.

We take the latest concerns and action by the CQC very seriously, according to Sarah Shingler, chief nursing and midwifery officer at the trust.

In order to provide the safe, high-quality care that our patients and their families expect, our staff is working diligently to improve our maternity services. We are also taking additional, urgent steps in this direction.

According to a review by Dr. Bill Kirkup published in October, at least 45 babies might have lived if the trust had provided better care.

Additionally, it is known that Canterbury Christ Church University has evacuated the William Harvey of its student midwives.

Rosie Duffield, a Canterbury-based MP, stated that she would "monitor the situation closely.".

She posted on Facebook that "unfortunately, it seems there has been little progress since the publication of the Kirkup Report and systems are still not in place to ensure the safety of women.".

You can go to if any of the problems in this story have affected you. Action Line at BBC. for guidance.

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