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AIBU to expect my local hospital to sort this out more quickly?

(9 Posts)
KentExpecting Wed 07-Jan-15 12:42:13

My local hospital, the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, was placed in "Special Measures" last summer after a damning CQC report that declared it "inadequate" on many, many counts. The report was published in August, but the Trust knew about its contents quite some time before the publication.

Now, I'm 30 weeks pregnant. This hospital is the only one I can reach within one to one-and-a-half hour's drive - and the next closest hospital is also in "Special Measures" and part of the same trust. shock

So I'm pretty much stuck and have to have my baby at this hospital (home birth not an option for various reasons).

Last summer, these were the QCQ comments about the maternity ward:

"There was not enough staff to provide a safe service to women during their pregnancy.
The midwife to birth ratio was up to beyond 1:33. This was above the national recommended ratio of midwives to births of 1:28.
There had been frequent closures of the midwife-led unit in recent months. This had reduced choice for women and meant that some women were transferred to other units for non-clinical reasons.
We found that leadership vacancies and interim arrangements had continued for significant periods.
Clinical guidance and policies used by staff were out of date.
Some essential equipment was in short supply."

I foolishly expected the hospital to sort out some of the issues they have in time for the birth of my baby in mid-March. But at my midwife appointment this morning, I was warned that the midwife-led unit is pretty much closed all the time at the moment due to staffing problems and that the normal ward is completely overcrowded and 'unpleasant' as a result. The midwife said she wanted to tell me so I don't get my hopes up that I can use the midwife-led unit... hmm

AIBU to think that there should have been some improvements between last summer and now, especially on items that the CQC raised explicitly in their report?

wobblyweebles Wed 07-Jan-15 12:57:54

You're not unreasonable. However my experience of NHS hospitals (both as a user and a member of staff) is that they don't have to be officially in special measures to provide abysmal maternity care, so you're not in a particularly unusual situation either.

SophieBarringtonWard Wed 07-Jan-15 13:04:00

I expect they haven't been given any more money, so can't actually make any changes.

KentExpecting Wed 07-Jan-15 13:13:22

According to the hospital's own website, they have already invested an additional £3m in staffing improvements and are in the process of investing £28m in 'facilities' across the whole East Kent trust. It's not one of those trusts that's broke - the main criticisms are about poor leadership...

Greywackejones Wed 07-Jan-15 13:23:22

I'd contact pals at the hospital. They might be able to help get you on a tour, or your midwife could. Your own midwife can't help specifically so it's between you and your consultant (I guess). If you could go on a tour you could see it. That may help either way. At least you might see what to ask.

Personally speaking, and I'm trying for positive not scary, when we were in a hospital in 2010 it was the normal midwifery and births that had issues. When ours changed to emergency I couldn't fault the staff involved. The change was SO incredible it is hard to put it into words. That hospital was shamed nationally (I won't detail but up to and including deaths). In fact it was solely because of the emergency treatment that I went back 2yrs later for a planned csec. I was that confident in their csec skills! Fortunately they had also improved the rest by then too.

KentExpecting Wed 07-Jan-15 13:40:25

Thanks grey - unfortunately all tours have also been cancelled due to staffing issues angry

ispyfispi Wed 07-Jan-15 14:12:46

Would Crowborough work for you? Just a thought....

DidoTheDodo Wed 07-Jan-15 14:25:11

Is Pembury too far?

KentExpecting Wed 07-Jan-15 15:02:06

Dido - I'm thinking about Pembury. But it's also well over an hour away and doesn't have a midwife-led unit. hmm

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