Intended for healthcare professionals


Bedfordshire hospitals told to act over inadequate maternity services

BMJ 2024; 386 doi: (Published 05 July 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;386:q1497
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

A shortage of midwives continues to put women and their babies at risk at two hospitals in Bedfordshire, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection has found.1

The regulator said that although Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had taken steps to tackle the problem by recruiting midwives internationally, this was being undermined by racism against staff by their own colleagues and by a lack of support from leaders.

The overall ratings for maternity services at both Luton and Dunstable Hospital and Bedford Hospital declined from “requires improvement” to “inadequate” following a two day inspection in November last year. The rating of the trust overall remains unchanged as “good.”

The inspection was prompted by whistleblowers raising concerns around the safety, culture, and management of the service.

The CQC’s report says staff did not feel able to report instances of …

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