Maternity care failings highlighted

Concerns have been expressed over failings in NHS maternity services

Four in 10 ultrasound scans carried out by NHS trusts failed to fully check for abnormalities in unborn babies, a report says. Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) recommend 11 checks to be performed during ultrasound scans.

These include studying the baby's heart function, length of spine, counting bones in the arms and legs and looking at head shape and size. The scans should also examine the development of the baby's face and lips.

But a report from the Healthcare Commission found that just 61% of scans performed by trusts included all 11 checks.

Nice also raised the quality requirements for Down's syndrome screening in April 2007, but only 11% of trusts reported meeting these standards for all women. This means those women in the remainder of cases are receiving inferior screening, according to the Commission.

The study also suggested a link between low staffing levels on maternity wards and overall poor performance by units. On average, units have 31 midwives per 1,000 deliveries but nine trusts trusts had only 26 midwives per 1,000 deliveries or fewer.

Two thirds of these trusts were scored weak in the review, suggesting very low staffing levels may be associated with poor overall performance, according to the report.

The Royal Colleges recommend 36 midwives per 1,000 deliveries to enable one to one care in labour.

A total of 68% of trusts were meeting a guideline set by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists requiring consultants to be present on the labour ward for at least 40 hours per week.

However, a third (32%) were not yet meeting the guideline, according to the study.

Good morning from Mick Pilling chairman: Save Bridlington Hospital Campaign Action Group Also: Save Scarborough Hospital Campaign Group

Are you aware that another Mother in labour gave birth on the Bridge in Scarborough; Yes in the Back of an Ambulance, details of this are not known as I was told of this at the weekend just gone.

Other News:  Information about the Scarborough NHS Trust - 25th January 2008 

Dear-All & Supporters of our Groups, Scarborough & North East Yorkshire Healthcare Maternity Services .

The Health Commission have just delivered another damning inditement on the services from from the local NHS Trust Board this time it is poor maternity services .   How many more of these reports are we to have to put up with regarding this totally failing body, poor, weak, below standard reports are now norms for this inept trust board.  

The NHS Trust Board have been very quick to defend their inability to get things right, this time stating "it May be crap but it is completely safe", or words to that effect.  

The view of the general public and the Save Scarborough Hospital campaign is "it may be safe but it  still leaves a lot to be desired, further more once again this Trust Board have let down the dedicated staff, patients and all the people in the Trust area with their penny pinching, book balancing schemes.  

Every single section of the trusts activities reviewed to date shows ineptitude and lack of leadership from this overpaid, unelected quango, they must be removed whilst we still have a hospital in Scarborough.

Regards Mick Pilling

The Scarborough NHS Trust are to remove this year 2008 Maternity Services from the Following Hospitals: Malton, Whitby & Bridlington with the above in mind we believe that the Trust are not competent, to have more mothers reporting to the Maternity Services at Scarborough what can these mothers expect, we firmly believe the Trust cannot cope