Homerton Hospital maternity unit ‘requires improvement’ – CQC report

GV of Homerton University Hospital, of Homerton Row.

GV of Homerton University Hospital, of Homerton Row. - Credit: Archant

Homerton Hospital’s embattled maternity unit still requires improvement, a care inspectors’ report reveals today.

But the Care Quality Commission’s report found “real improvements” had been made in cleanliness and infection control, as well as training staff to spot patients whose condition is deteriorating.

The latest document comes on the back of calls for greater transparency from campaigners and follows a damning CQC inspection last year that found 29 “serious incidents” had taken place in 2014 and a “never event” had happened in January 2015 – a medical term for a serious preventable incident.

A team of specialists visited the hospital over several days for the latest inspection during October and November 2015.

They found the hospital required improvement in order to provide maternity services that were “safe and well-led”.

The report highlighted “robust checks” of babies were still not in place.

The chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “Over the past three years, there have been some tragic cases at Homerton University Hospital and I extend my deepest sympathy to those families.

Most Read

“On our last inspection, we identified a number of issues, and we told the trust that urgent action must be taken to address these concerns and minimise the risks to mothers and babies.

“I am pleased to report that we have found some real improvements in the care and welfare of women using maternity services, and in the standard of cleanliness and infection control.

“However, we still have some concerns regarding the need for robust observational checks of babies, and a more consistent system to absorb the recommendations from serious incidents.”

A mother-to-be died at the hospital last February, becoming the fifth in a string of deaths that had already sparked an investigation.

The other four deaths at the maternity unit occurred in July and October 2013, and January and April 2014, with the latter believed to have followed an elective caesarean section.

The maternity unit serves about 252,000 people within Hackney and delivered nearly 6,000 babies in 2014.

The CQC will be returning to Homerton in “due course” to ensure progress continues to be made.