Northwick Park Hospital: improvements made following baby deaths

Northwick Park Hospital's maternity unit has been rated inadequate

Northwick Park Hospital - Credit: Archant

A hospital has vowed to improve its maternity services following a damning report highlighting several baby deaths on its wards. 

The maternity department at Northwick Park Hospital, was rated “inadequate” in June 2021. It was revealed there were eight baby deaths in five weeks during the previous summer . 

A further unannounced visit in October found it had made improvements, with inspectors recognising the hospital had measures in place to turn things around. The rating was changed to ‘requires improvement’. 

NHS bosses confirmed senior staff in the maternity department were replaced following the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) June report, which noted eight babies died across a five-week period in July and August 2020. 

During the most recent visit, inspectors said they were impressed with the new leadership team. 

And in a report presented to Brent Council this week, the London North West University Healthcare, the NHS Trust said it had implemented four immediate actions to help address the problems. 

This covered assurances that all equipment remained clean and up to date, with daily spot checks in place. 

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All ‘cold’ cots have been replaced with new ones and checks are in place to ensure all triage log sheets are secured.

As part of its medium-term plan, the department is introducing more mandatory training, improving drug storage and reassessing its approach to documentation. 

It also plans to review its wider governance structure and look at how it can restart antenatal classes. 

Lisa Knight, chief nurse at London North West University Hospitals, said: “We’ve listened to the CQC and it’s encouraging they have recognised the positive changes in our maternity unit.

“We understand we have more work to do but I’m pleased that our teams have embraced the challenge. The hard work and dedication of our staff has started to show a real difference.

“We’re paying close attention to the areas where we still need to make changes, and we’re totally committed to continuing with our maternity improvement plan.

“Now we’ll continue to work with our local families and communities to offer them the excellent care they deserve.”