Essex hospital warned over maternity care.
Basildon University Hospital has been ordered to carry out urgent improvements to its maternity services after inspectors found six serious incidents where babies were born in a ‘poor condition’. The inspection was carried out by the Care Quality Commission in June in response to concerns raised about patient safety by a whistle-blower. The hospital’s maternity services were rated inadequate overall and the watchdog issued a warning notice to Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the services, ordering urgent improvements to ensure the safety of mothers and babies.
Public health body replacing Public Health England will be pandemic-ready.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that Public Health England will be replaced by the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP), a new body focused on preparing for external threats like pandemics. Baroness Dido Harding, who runs NHS Test and Trace in England, will head up the new institute. The move follows intense scrutiny of PHE over its response to coronavirus.
Politicians warn that new CEO of special measures health board won’t be a ‘silver bullet’
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been under high level monitoring from the Welsh government since June 2015, following a report by Donna Ockenden which found evidence of “institutional abuse” at the Tawel Fan mental health ward at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Denbighshire. The board has now announced that Jo Whitehead will be taking over the reins as Chief Executive.
Shadow Health Minister Andrew RT Davies said: “History has taught us that changing the name plate on the CEO’s door at Betsi Cadwaladr is not a silver bullet to solving the problems at the health board.”
Welcome investment of £172m into nursing apprenticeships
In a bid to tackle staff shortages in the NHS and recruit more than 50,000 nurses by 2024-25, the government has announced that it will invest £172m into nursing degree apprenticeships. The money should allow healthcare providers to take on up to 2,000 apprentices each year for the next four years, the BBC reports.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust to get targeted support from University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust
The trust (SaTH) which is at the centre of an independent review into maternity services, is entering into an “improvement alliance” to focus on improvement of services as SaTH chairman, Ben Reid, steps down.
A-Level students encouraged to consider a career in nursing
Ruth May, England’s chief nursing officer, has highlighted the benefits of a career in the nursing profession with a rallying cry that ‘your NHS needs you’. The call came ahead of A-Level results day with an appeal to an estimated 80,000 students who will go through the university clearing process.
Failure to publish report led to further abuse in mental health unit in North Wales say families with relatives at Tawel Fan ward.
Families whose relatives were admitted to Tawel Fan ward in North Wales say the “appalling events could and more importantly, should have been avoided if the findings from the Hergest mental health unit report had been published.”
Disappointment over the Chancellor’s failure to announce investment in nurses in his summer statement.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak focused his spending announcements on general measures to safeguard jobs for UK workers and stabilise the employment market offering no boost to nurse staffing or pay. The move drew criticism from the Royal College of Nursing and a number of other unions.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of the union Unison, said the statement offered “next to nothing for public services and the workers who’ve kept the country going through the last few difficult months”. Sunak’s plan did however include a new commitment to inject more than £1bn in 2020-21 into “NHS critical maintenance and A&E capacity across England”
All nurses in England to be charged for hospital parking.
Parking charges that were lifted for all NHS staff as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic will be brought back in by the government, but as yet no timeline for this has been provided.
Responding to the news, RCN director for England, Mike Adams said the move would be detrimental to the government’s relationship with nurses : ‘The government made a positive decision to support healthcare workers during the first wave of the pandemic by removing parking charges. Reversing this now would not give the impression that their professionalism and commitment is truly valued.’
A record 18,000 new nurses, midwives and nursing associates join the NMC register.
The largest annual increase on record to its register has been welcomed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, but with a warning that the right environment, conditions and incentives need to be created to support the retention of staff for the future.
Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC chief executive and registrar warned that because much of the growth has come from overseas, there were “potential stormy waters ahead.” with restrictions on travel making it harder for new staff to migrate. She added that “the retention of our existing workforce will be ever more important.”
MPs call for evidence on maternity safety and what more must be done to improve it.
Recurrent failings in maternity services and what action is needed to improve safety for mothers and babies is the focus of this new inquiry launched by the Health and Social Care Committee. The Safety of Maternity Services in England inquiry will examine evidence relating to ongoing concerns despite the substantial amount of work carried out in recent years.
The Committee will build upon investigations that followed incidents at East Kent Hospitals University Trust and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as the inquiry into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.
MPs will also consider whether clinical negligence and litigation processes need to be changed to improve the safety of maternity services, as well as the extent to which a “blame culture” affects medical advice and decision-making.
Health and Social Care Committee Chair Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said:
“The death of a baby when something goes wrong is a tragedy for a family. When we’ve seen a pattern of baby deaths, we must be confident that failings that contributed to them have been addressed and lessons learned.
“However, the safety of our maternity services continues to be a matter of concern.
“We’ll be looking at the evidence that’s been gathered to date and whether recommendations are being acted upon to ensure that lasting improvements are made to safeguard the lives of mothers and their babies.”
2 women are diagnosed with cancer in and around pregnancy in the UK and Ireland every day –
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