Two maternity services downgraded to inadequate by CQC

Maternity services at University Hospital North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital have been downgraded from “good” to “inadequate” in Care Quality Commission reports.

Leaders of two maternity services have been told to take urgent action, after inspectors found understaffing and declining levels of care, despite safety warnings from midwives. The CQC noted a “concerning deterioration” in the care the two services provided, despite midwives telling managers they felt the service was unsafe.

The reports also said staff reported “feeling ‘frozen out’ or that their concerns were ignored by leaders” and that staff felt “‘continuity of carer’ was the trust’s main focus, despite depleted safe staffing levels, skill mix, and staff being pulled in to cover acute areas on a frequent basis”.

Full story in The HSJ, 15 September 2023