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North Middlesex University Hospital: CQC rates maternity services inadequate, blaming poor leadership

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 08 December 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2911
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

Care Quality Commission inspectors have downgraded maternity services at North Middlesex University Hospital in north London from good to inadequate, saying they were “deeply concerned” about poor leadership in the service.1

The inspection in May found that leaders lacked oversight, and there were signs that a closed culture may be developing in the service that discourages staff from speaking up.

The inspectors said that the hospital’s rate of stillbirths was significantly higher than the national average but that there was no evidence leaders had made plans to reduce the rate. In February 2023 the rate was 6.82 stillbirths per 1000 births, above the national rate of 4.8 per 1000 births and significantly increased from the 2020 reported rate of 3.71 per 1000.

Leaders had not ensured that all staff received the appropriate training to keep mothers and their babies safe, in areas such as basic life support and safeguarding. The trust …

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