Newham Hospital Maternity Facing Unwarranted Skills Shortage

There are a lot of pluses to derive from the recent inspection of Barts Health Trust which moved up the ratings in many areas. The overall rating is ‘requires improvement’, however, as it was before.

Of real concern, however, is that all 4 ‘inadequate’ ratings were at Newham hospital and that 3 of these were located in Newham Hospital Maternity. 

The report states “At both the last inspections we observed midwives were overstretched, and we found this on this inspection too: midwives on the delivery suite did not get breaks and worked beyond the end of their shifts.
Midwifery skill mix was also a concern. The shortage of experienced midwives affected the amount of supervision they could give to the high proportion of less experienced staff.”

This should come as no surprise since a report dated May 9th. 2018 shows that a new ‘skills mix’ was imposed in maternity. This is a method for deskilling the workforce so that costs are cut. There are less doctors, nurses, midwives, and trained professional health workers, which in the case of Mid Staffs Trust actually led to problems with care and standards in general.

The new ‘skills mix’ was transformed from 100% RM ( registered midwives) to 90% RM and 10% MSM ( Maternity support workers) . This means that Newham midwives work without breaks, in excess of their agreed working hours, working long shifts including night shifts, and with tight work rotas. This leads to increased stress for this vital section of workers who deserve better, as do those in their care.

Published by philedwards1917

I have been a socialist and activist since the 1970’s. I taught in East London , with a brief interval in Bristol, for 25 years. I was a member of East London Teachers Association and active in the NUT on many campaigns and especially anti-racist campaigns against the BNP. I was secretary of Tower Hamlets TUC and organised a commemoration committee in 1996 to hold a 1000 strong march to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the battle of Cable Street. I helped organise and drove on three aid convoys to Bosnia during the war and again twice to Kosova in the 1990’s during the war in Yugoslavia. I am now joint secretary of Newham Save Our NHS . I have been a member of the labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership campaign.

%d bloggers like this: