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CQC report into maternity at Queen’s Hospital awaited ahead of closure of services at King George

PUBLISHED: 11:55 28 December 2012

The demonstration outside Queen's hospital, Romford.

The demonstration outside Queen's hospital, Romford.

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Campaigners attempting to stop the closure of maternity services at King George Hospital are awaiting a report by the Care Quality Commission into standards at Queen’s Hospital.

The commission (CQC) carried out an unannounced inspection of the maternity department of Queen’s Hospital, in Romford, earlier this month.

A spokesman for the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs both hospitals, said it was expecting “positive feedback” after inspectors looked at staffing levels, equipment, standards of care and patient experience.

Expectant mothers will have to go to Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, instead of King George, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, to give birth by the end of April 2013.

Some women may also have to travel to other hospitals, including Whipps Cross, in Leytonstone.

King George Hospital will continue to offer antenatal clinics, scans and parenting education.

Cllr Andy Walker has been campaigning with the Save King George Hospital group to stop the change.

The group met at Queen’s Hospital last week to show their opposition.

Cllr Walker said: “With the rising population in east London it doesn’t seem wise to cut the number of maternity services.

“It seems strange that the CQC is investigating services so close to the date when the King George unit is due to close.

“Surely it would have been better to do the report earlier in the day.”

The CQC will not make any recommendations in the report but the Department of Health is expected to take its findings into account when finalising the transfer of maternity services.

Ilford North MP Lee Scott said he will be speaking to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and the trust after the report is released.

He added: “I’m opposed to the change to maternity services and A&E is a huge concern.”

Failings in emergency care and maternity at Queen’s were uncovered by the CQC after an inspection in 2011.

Two women, Sareena Ali and Violet Stephens, died that year because of inadequate care while giving birth at the hospital.

In June, the CQC found standards had improved in maternity after BHRUT found the trust had completely met 27 out of the 81 recommendations set and partly met 48 others.

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