Two East Kent hospitals 'require improvement' where 15 baby deaths are under investigation

Health inspectors say maternity services 'require improvement' at two east Kent hospitals where 15 baby deaths are under investigation.

That's the Care Quality Commission's assessment of the QEQM at Margate and the William Harvey at Ashford. Today (28/05) the hospitals said it was evidence of continuing progress, but families who have lost babies are far from satisfied.

  • ITV News Meridian report by James Dunham:

The CQC inspection in January found the QEQM in Margate and the William Harvey in Ashford 'good' at being effective, caring and responsive to patients.

When it came to leadership and safety, it still 'requires improvement.'

  • Ursula Marsh- Head of Midwifery & Gynaecology, East Kent NHS Trust:

Harry Richford died a week after being born

Today's findings are particularly important for Harry Richford's family. He died a week after being born because of failings at the QEQM- one of several baby deaths that the trust is now being investigated by an independent review.

  • Derek Richford- Harry's grandfather

Since the inspection, the trust says it's employed more consultants and midwives.

They also insist its antenatal service- which the CQC found to be slow in deciding treatment and care- is improving.

The trust says it's employed more consultants and midwives Credit: ITV Meridian

Training facilities were found to be outstanding at the QEQM.

East Kent insists it's doing all it can to reach that high standard across maternity services, which expectant mothers and their families deserve.

The Royal College of Midwives says it's disappointed.The Dover MP Natalie Elphique is arranging a meeting with inspectors to discuss the ongoing problems.

This Kent Councillor would like to see urgent action:

  • Karen Constantine- Kent County Council, Lab:

The review into the baby deaths is ongoing, and inspectors will be back to the hospital where they hope to see more progress.