It has been reported by the Leicester Mercury that in April 2019, more than 30 women who visited the maternity assessment unit (MAU) at Leicester Royal Infirmary Hospital with concerns about themselves or their unborn children had to wait more than four hours to be seen by maternity medics.
The situation came to light in a report prepared by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after there had been 3 serious incidents involving women who had visited the MAU for assistance. The CQC is a public body that was established to regulate and inspect health and social care services in England.
Staff in the MAU were interviewed by inspectors from the CQC and they admitted that there were not confident enough to call a consultant for assistance out of hours. They also said that they struggled to care for women in the department at the same time as taking calls from expectant mothers who had concerns about their condition and needed advice.
One of the CQC’s findings was that there were not always enough consultants on the unit. The report states that “There was one consultant ward round in the morning and then no consultant presence on the ward for the rest of the day. Junior doctors carried out assessments on women in MAU and went to another floor in the hospital to find a consultant to check decisions.”
During the inspection, the CQC also found that 2 essential pieces of equipment in the maternity unit had not been serviced by their due date. It has been confirmed that they have both now been serviced.
The CQC told University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust that it must ensure there is sufficient consultant presence in the MAU at Leicester Royal and ensure that it provides clear guidance for what should be done if medical staff are busy or unavailable.
The CQC inspectors also suggested that the Trust should ensure that the MAU phone line is better managed so that it is effective.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors specialises in clinical negligence law and regularly deals with claims concerning negligent maternity care. If you believe that you or a family member have received inadequate maternity care, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.