Report Highlights Poor Maternity Care

A report by the Healthcare Commission into maternity care has shown widespread variation in the standard of care that mothers and babies receive.

The report found that 70% of NHS maternity units in the London area provided a service described as “least well performing”.

Amond the findings was that protocols for carrying out ultrasound scans at 4 in 10 hospitals failed to include the 11 items recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.  This means that many hospitals are not carrying out adequate checks for abnormalities in developing babies including abnormalities in lips and faces and heart function.

The report found that 9 in 10 hospitals failed to meet the quality requirements for Downs’ sydrome screening.

In relation to staffing levels, it is reported that most hospitals failed to reach the recommended level of midwifery cover of 36 midwives per 1,000 births; the national average was just 31 midwives per 1,000 and nine hospitals had just 26 midwives per 1,000 birhts.  One in three hospitals do not meet the Royal College of Obstetricians’ standard of having a consultant obstetrician on the labour ward for 40 hours each week.

The report makes worrying reading and the Chief Executive of the Healthcare Commission, Anna Walker, acknowledged that many trusts needed to take urgent steps to improve.

If you, or a member of your family, have been suffered through poor maternity care, we may be able to help.  Call us on 0800 321 3112 to discuss your concerns with one of our nurse advisors.

Posted 25th January 2008 | Posted in News,Uncategorised