Maternity unit at Whipps Cross Hospital gets watchdog warning after failing standards

The maternity unit at Whipps Cross Hospital, where many Redbridge mothers give birth since the closure of King George, has been given two warning notices by a health watchdog.

An unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that patients in the maternity department at the Leytonstone hospital are not always cared for in a clean, hygienic environment and infection control and equipment supply need improvement.

The report said: “Some emergency neo-natal resuscitation equipment had not been checked which could result in the delay of care to a newborn baby in an emergency if found to be faulty.

“Women and babies were not protected from the risk of infection.”

It added that some staff “failed to be compassionate and caring” and women’s confidentiality was sometimes compromised by staff. Inaccurate health records were found and there were not enough beds, meaning the ward occasionally shut to women in labour, who were redirected around London.

Barts Health chief executive Peter Morris said action is being taken immediately to “rectify failures to ensure we meet standards at all times”.

He added: “We are committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of every one of our patients and we are extremely sorry for the failings in some of our services at Whipps Cross Hospital.”

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The trust’s Great Expectations maternity programme claims to improve training and care standards and there has recently been a management reshuffle.

The CQC also issued a warning for elderly care, where inspectors found staff did not always deliver care and treatment safely and to appropriate standards.