Mum and tots “at risk” in hospital due to take bulk of Redbridge births under health plans

Officers found the ward at the hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, was often understaffed and that some midwives were carrying procedures they were not trained to.

The news is likely to provoke concern in Redbridge due to plans to close the labour ward at King George Hospital in Barley Lane Goodmayes and provide the bulk of maternity services for Redbridge residents at Queens.

Inspectors also found that the hospital was not following some of its own guidelines for planning and providing safe care, including the timely transfer of women from the antenatal ward to the labour ward.

Some equipment necessary for the safety of mums and infants - such as machines for monitoring contractions - was found to be unavailable, poorly maintained or not working.

Last week the Ilford Recorder’s sister paper, the Romford Recorder reported that young mum Frances Randall gave birth in a waiting room in the hospital without medical help because of a shortage of beds and staff.

Chiefs at the hospital, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, have now been given until March 30 to recruit more staff and until April 15 to address its equipment problems.

The trust could face prosecution or restriction of services if it does not comply.

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The hospital is currently working to fill 48 midwife vacancies.