The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has began investigating the London Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust after concerns were raised regarding the levels patient care, including care in the Accident and Emergency department and the maternity department.
This is only the second time the CQC has had to launch a major investigation and the Trust has
welcomed the inquiry.
Previous concerns about the performance of the Trust had led to the CQC imposing eight conditions on them in April 2010. Seven of these conditions have been lifted, but in April this year, they had been told to improve maternity services. The CQC believe that not enough has been done to make these improvements.
The review of the A&E department revealed that the way in which it was organised was impacting on patient care. The review of the maternity services indicated that the Trust did not meet six essential standards. The major cause for concern in the maternity department was staffing levels and the care and welfare of pregnant women.
Since the review in April, and following a warning from the CQC regarding staffing, the Trust has urgently recruited another 60 midwives.
The CQC has the power to close wards and hospitals. Colin Hough of the CQC said that they were also looking at the bigger picture and identifying if the Trust needed further support to make the necessary improvements.