Urgent Improvements Needed: Maternity Services at Tunbridge Wells Hospital Rated ‘Inadequate’ by CQC

The Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, part of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, recently faced a significant setback as its maternity services received an ‘inadequate’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The inspection highlighted various safety concerns, particularly in infection control measures, prompting the CQC to issue a warning notice to the Trust, emphasising the urgent need for rapid improvement in providing safe care and treatment.

The report, published on February 16, sheds light on critical areas that demand immediate attention to enhance the quality of maternity care. It reveals that nearly half of emergency c-sections were delayed and there were delays to induced births and numerous instances of significant blood loss after childbirth. There were also cases where national and local guidelines were not being followed.

Two other maternity services managed by the Trust, Maidstone Birthing Centre and Crowborough Birthing Centre, also received an overall rating of ‘requires improvement,’ emphasising the need for widescale enhancements within the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s maternity services.

In response to the CQC’s warning notice, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust Chief Executive Miles Scott, expressed a commitment to prioritising the suggested improvements, highlighting them as the organisation’s “highest priority.” He said the Trust has already taken steps to address the recommendations, including a multidisciplinary workforce review and additional training initiatives.

The CQC’s findings reflect broader challenges faced by maternity services in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, but it is another example of why healthcare providers across the country need to learn from reports like these. There is clearly widespread need to make significant improvements to ensure the safety and wellbeing of mothers and babies.

A link to the full report can be found here

CQC reports like this echo the issues identified in other key reports such as the Kirkup and Ockenden reports.

Maternity safety needs to stay in the spotlight – widespread change and learning is needed as the impact of poor and unsafe care can be devasting.

If you have experienced any of the issues identified in the CQC report, please contact our team of dedicated lawyers who can offer support.

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