Dirty, unsafe, and failing to protect patients. The damning verdict on a London hospital ordered by inspectors to make urgent changes.
Whipps Cross in Leytonstone failed to meet the basic standards for quality and safety. In the worst cases, filthy maternity wards and uncaring staff exposed mothers and babies to the risk of infection. Ria Chatterjee reports.
A report into the care provided by Whipps Cross University Hospital is very critical of care provided to women on maternity and post natal units.
It said that staff did not follow some basic hygiene regimes such as washing their hands, and that babies ended up in intensive care because midwives didn't carry out basic checks.
We saw a woman in a blood-stained gown and bed. About 10 minutes later we saw the same woman crying in the corridor. The midwife on duty asked the woman 'Why are you crying?' The woman replied 'I am in pain'.
'Pain!' the midwife repeated in a sarcastic manner. The midwife got some medication and handed her a white pot which contained tablets without telling the woman what the tablets were.
We observed the same midwife bringing the wrong formula milk to the mother. When asked by the woman, the midwife did not accept she had brought the wrong milk and refused to offer the correct alternative.
– CQC inspectors who visited Whipps Cross University Hospital
Barts NHS trust has been issued with three formal warnings in a Care Quality Commission report which found it had "failed to protect the safety and welfare of patients" at Whipps Cross University Hospital. The unnannounced inspections were carried out in May and June.