Midwives recruited in response to criticism of Blackpool maternity unit

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Five additional midwives have been recruited in Blackpool and the leadership team strengthened in response to an inspection which found women were being put at risk.

An inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was carried out in June last year of the maternity department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital after reports the service was suffering from low staffing levels.

Read More
Hospital vows to improve after maternity unit inspection finds Blackpool mums pu...

A report published last September rated the overall maternity department as ‘requires improvement’, with low staffing levels highlighted as a problem.

More midwives have been recruited to care for pregnant womenMore midwives have been recruited to care for pregnant women
More midwives have been recruited to care for pregnant women

The department had previously been rated ‘good’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

An action plan is now in place and a report updating councillors on progress says 13 areas for improvement were identified including 10 ‘must do’ and three ‘should do’ actions.

The report to the council’s Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee admits “recruitment remains a challenge” but five new midwives are in place and the hospital is “confident that staffing levels will continue to improve.”

Staffing levels are monitored “to ensure safety every day” while a recruitment plan is in place for 13 student midwives in Blackpool who are due to qualify this year.

It is also hoped to recruit a further two midwives from overseas due in post in the near future.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Work is also underway to improve retention rates for existing staff which include opportunities for career progression.

Senior positions now filled include a director for midwifery and neonates (newborns under four weeks old), a head of midwifery and a consultant midwife with two matrons due to be recruited.

Other roles in place now include two practice development midwives to support multidisciplinary training, a risk midwife and a specialist midwife for bereavement.

In her inspection report last September, Ann Ford, director of CQC’s North Network, said: “We weren’t assured that women and babies were receiving safe care and treatment.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She added: “It was concerning that there wasn’t always enough midwifery staff to care for women and keep them safe.

“This was a significant risk to women receiving timely and appropriate care and treatment, exposing them to the risk of harm.”

Concerns were also raised about induction of labour being delayed, with the committee report saying measures have also been taken to address this.

Waiting times for induction are being reported, and changes to identify women at risk of long waits are being introduced.

Related topics: