View from the chamber: 'Mums-to-be should expect the best possible care'

General view of Northwick Park Hospital as staff in England and Northern Ireland to go on strike, No

Northwick Park Hospital’s maternity provision has been rated ‘inadequate' by CQC - Credit: PA Images

Northwick Park Hospital proved a magnificent response to the pandemic and I trust they prove equally accountable following the publication of a report criticising their maternity department.

I’m encouraged by the fact that the hospital had already arranged an external review prior to the inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and many of the CQC’s subsequent concerns were already in the trust’s Maternity Improvement Plan.

There are aspects of the CQC report which are concerning and I expect the trust to show both accountability and transparency in addressing them.

Mums-to-be should expect the best possible care and that care should be equable for everyone, especially in one of the most culturally diverse areas in the UK.

Cllr Ketan Sheth

Cllr Ketan Sheth is pleased about the proposed changes Northwick Park Hospital are going are planning to make - Credit: Cllr Ketan Sheth

I, like everyone else, expect maternity services to show a marked improvement when the CQC visit again. There can be no delays for the sake of patients and staff and I’m glad to see that the trust isn’t making any excuses and is already taking action.

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I believe the local community should always be at the heart of improvement plans and I will work closely with the hospital to ensure it offers a safe and compassionate experience for our local families.

I know how disheartening it must be for staff working in maternity to make improvements but please keep your spirits up and work on delivering a service we can all be proud of.

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Finally, it’s rather a shame that the good work of the emergency department - which was also subject to an unannounced inspection by the CQC - was largely ignored. It did, aside for a couple of minor criticisms, get the thumbs up which is no small feat as one of the capital’s busiest and best performing A&Es.

I hope that the hospital can use the learning from the way in which they improved A&E to make similar changes in maternity. 

The hospital’s improvement plan be found at:

  • Cllr Ketan Sheth is chair, Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, Brent Council

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