On average, 29 babies a day are born at Leicester’s Hospitals.
The recommended figure for Midwife staffing is 23.4 births per full time midwife but the current ratio at Leicester Hospitals stands at 27.6 births to one full time midwife, falling well below the national standards.
The NHS Trust also needs to take on 10 more maternity support staff to ensure it maintains basic minimum staffing levels. Data analysed by the trust suggest that there is a shortfall of shall 40% of the time.
A report presented to the Trust this week details there should be a “staged approach” to increasing staff, with the first stage being employing 20 more full time midwives. Once these are in post the ratio should reduce to 25.8 births per full time midwife.
Carolyn Fox, chief nurse at Leicester’s Hospitals has commented: “Although there is a shortfall at the moment we are not concerned about the safety of the department” and that whilst “the numbers might look stark I’m confident we are delivering a safe and high quality service”.
In the meantime systems have been introduced to monitor staffing levels to ensure there is no risk to patients.
Although there are delays in the plans to transform local health services including building a £93 million dedicated maternity hospital, a plan has been put in place to mitigate these delays. Mark Wightman, Director of Strategy and Communication at the Trust has said “I feel very assured that we have a very good handle on this, But, this is another example of why we want to build a single service maternity unit, it goes back to the service being spread largely across two sites”.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence law and regularly advise on cases involving negligent maternity treatment. If you believe that you or a family member have received inadequate care from a GP or hospital Trust, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.