The letter below is good news from senior NHS managers stating that planned C-Sections are back at KGH. I cannot recall such an expansion of services at KGH being in the original plan to close the maternity unit at KGH and hope it represents a move to keeping maternity services at KGH.
2-14 Ilford Hill
Tel: 020 8478 5151
5 April 2012
Maternity services at BHRUT
Last year we wrote to tell you about some changes to local arrangements for maternity
services in north east London. We did this because of the concerns of patients, local
stakeholders and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about the quality and safety of
services – particularly at Queen’s Hospital.
A number of measures were introduced to address these issues, which are outlined in the
action plan circulated by Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) to
stakeholders and on the website http://www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/aboutus/mhb.php.
The Trust has been working hard to improve the quality and safety of its maternity services
and to address the concerns raised by the CQC in 2011. BHRUT now has one of the highest
midwife to birth ratios across London and Essex, enabling all women to have one-to-one care
during labour. Anaesthetic cover has been enhanced to ensure timely administration of pain
relief and operations where necessary, and improvements have been made in the
promptness of assessment and treatment of women presenting in labour or with
complications in pregnancy. NHS London, local commissioners and the CQC continue to
monitor progress closely.
Some of the arrangements put in place were intended to be temporary, including moving
some activity away from BHRUT to take some pressure off the service and to provide the
Trust with the space to make the important changes needed.
This included Homerton Hospital providing some elective (planned) caesarean sections for
women under the care of BHRUT over the winter period. This will change from April 2012
with a new planned c-section service at King George Hospital, providing extra capacity and
enabling all planned c-sections to be provided locally.
As agreed in the original plan communicated last September, from 1 April BHRUT is once
more offering Essex women the choice to book their births at BHRUT. BHRUT will continue
to work closely with Essex commissioners to enable this and to manage capacity across
North East London and Essex. In the longer term additional capacity is planned for Queen’s
Hospital to enable the centralisation of services onto the Queen’s Hospital site, as per the
Health for north east London proposals for change.
Looking more broadly across east London, commissioners are working with all five north east
London maternity services to ensure that all women, wherever they live in north east London,
are able to access a variety of services that meet their needs, before, during and after their
pregnancies. Newham, Whipps Cross, the Royal London and Homerton Hospitals are all
developing additional capacity for maternity services to support this aim and to ensure that
there is enough capacity across north east London to meet demand and enable choice both
now and in the future.
As part of this work, NHS North East London and the City has awarded Newham University
Hospitals Trust the contract to provide community midwifery services at Barking Community
Hospital. The team are currently working to set up the service and local women will soon be
able to be referred here for maternity care.
We will continue to keep you updated on progress with overall plans, as well as specific local
changes. Helen Brown, Director of Performance and Delivery in the NHS NELC
Commissioning Support Service is leading the work on maternity service improvement across
north east London and Deborah Wheeler, Director of Nursing, is the lead for BHRUT.
As ever our priority is to ensure that local women and babies have safe and high quality care
and we will continue to build on the progress made.
Chief Executive, NHS NELC
Chief Executive, BHRUT