Intended for healthcare professionals


Maternity care: Understaffing at two units is putting mothers and babies at risk, says CQC

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 15 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2114
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

Care Quality Commission inspectors have downgraded the two maternity services at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust from “good” to “inadequate” and issued a warning notice demanding urgent improvements.12

The CQC found that maternity services at University Hospital North Durham and at Darlington Memorial Hospital were seriously understaffed, putting mothers and babies at risk of harm. Issues relating to staffing “seemed to be ignored,” and midwives told managers that they found the units unsafe but that nothing had changed.

The service did not have an open culture where staff could raise concerns without fear, and the duty of candour was not always applied when things went wrong, the report …

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