News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Lack of staff and poor organisation blamed for excess deaths in a London hospital

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 14 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:128
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    A shortage of midwives and obstetricians, poor working relationships, and failure to follow clinical guidelines was blamed for maternal deaths at a London hospital in a review published last week by the Healthcare Commission. The review was requested after seven women cared for by North West London Hospitals NHS Trust died in pregnancy or within 42 days of delivery, miscarriage, or termination of pregnancy between April 2002 and December 2003.

    The Healthcare Commission, which leads investigations into the provision of healthcare by the NHS in England, reviewed the quality of maternity care in detail. This included meeting staff and patients; visiting the trust's two main hospitals, Central Middlesex Hospital, and Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospital; analysing more than 750 documents; and surveying 400 women who had given birth at the trust in the six months leading up to the review.

    Nigel Ellis, head of investigations …

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