A troubled acute trust has been sent a further warning notice after inspectors found severe shortages of midwives were causing dangerous delays to labour inductions.
During one day in June, the Care Quality Commission found eight high-risk women at Blackpool Victoria Hospital had waited prolonged time periods for their labour to be induced.
They said one woman had waited five days, while another who was forced to wait more than two days despite her waters having broken on the ward. Delays to labour induction can lead to serious safety risks for mothers and babies.
The hospital’s maternity services, previously rated “good” for safety, have now been rated “inadequate” in this domain. The overall rating for maternity has dropped to “requires improvement”.
The problems were caused by severe shortages of midwives at the hospital, which had struggled to bring in agency staff due to a lack of availability in the area. However, inspectors also said there was a lack of any discussion or attention to the issues within the trust, despite the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch previously highlighting concerns.
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Source: HSJ, 1 September 2022