“IT is paramount women have safe birth experiences” – that was the verdict of Rachel Maclean after maternity services at Worcestershire Royal were downgraded from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has urged the hospital to improve after inspectors found that staffing levels were often lower than planned.
Midwives said this led to them being frequently moved within the department.
The midwives also said morale was low due to longstanding staffing issues, and that they felt their concerns and views were not being considered by management.
“The CQC investigated and I welcome their findings,” said the Redditch MP.
“The voices of the midwifery staff have been heard. I now urge the trust to implement the recommendations in full without delay.
“Whilst the report highlights improvements which need to made, the CQC acknowledged good practice, including healthcare professionals from different disciplines working as a team to support each other to provide good care for women and babies.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the midwives and all healthcare staff for their hard-work and dedication.
“You should be listened to and your concerns acted on.”
Six years on from maternity services being removed from the Alexandra Hospital, Mrs Maclean admitted this was another blow for women in Worcestershire.
“People in Redditch were told the centralisation of maternity services to Worcester would improve the care and experience expectant mothers receive,” she said.
“Clearly the CQC’s report highlights the trust has work to do to provide the service they promised my constituents.
“There are a number of acute trusts across the country providing more than one maternity service rated good by the CQC, so there’s no reason why ours can’t.”
CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “We fully appreciate that hospitals are facing a particularly challenging time.
“However, the service must ensure that any risks are identified, and safety incidents are correctly shared and reported to reduce their impact.”