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Women giving birth at under fire maternity unit left alone with unsupervised workers, NHS watchdog finds

Women in labour at a London maternity unit deemed “inadequate” were left alone with unsupervised support workers who were not given any guidance, an NHS safety watchdog has found.

In a scathing report of North Middlesex Hospital’s maternity services, the Care Quality Commission also found examples of delays to induction of birth for women, and one case of a woman with a still-born baby who was left waiting for the unit to call her in for an induction.

Inspectors have downgraded the maternity unit from “good” to the lowest possible rating “inadequate” following an inspection earlier this year.

Staff reportedly told inspectors they felt they were “criticised” or “bullied” when reporting safety incidents within the unit.

“We heard that the criticism or bullying was worse if the incident reported was relative to other staff and their perceived behaviours,” the report said.

There was also evidence the hospital was not recording the severity of safety incidents correctly for example two “never events”, which are among the highest category incidents, were categorised as “low harm”.

Other findings included women and babies came to harm as the hospitals did not follow standards to language interpretation despite covering a higher than average minority ethnic population.

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Source: The Independent, 11 December 2023


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