Hospitals trust defends decision to close ward which had reached capacity

Protocol to close maternity ward

Protocol to close maternity ward "normal" Hospital Trust says

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

A decision to close a maternity ward which had reached capacity is normal practice and does not justify the re-opening of a unit at a nearby hospital which closed last year, according to a director of midwifery.

It was revealed at a board meeting of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT) on Wednesday that the ward at Queen's Hospital in Romford was closed to new admissions on April 29 for four hours.

It has since emerged that the ward was closed in similar circumstances on two other occasion in the last 12 months.

This has been seized upon by health campaigner Andy Walker, who claims the maternity unit at King George Hospital in Goodmayes, which was shut last year, should re-open to deal with demand.

But Director of midwifery at Queen’s, Wendy Matthews, said the ward is not shutdown often enough to justify re-opening the unit at King George.

She said: "I can confirm that on 29th April, the Labour Ward at Queen’s Hospital closed for a short period of four hours.

"This was due to a high number of women that went into labour at the same time.

"To ensure the safety of the mothers and babies, the Maternity Unit diverted two women to nearby maternity units."

She added that the current situation at Queens is a “huge improvement” on three years ago when the ward was closed more than 10 times a month.

"Re-opening the maternity department at King George Hospital would not be justified for the very few occasions when this situation occurs," she said.

Mr Walker was at the board meeting on Wednesday and branded the ward closure a "disgrace".

The Trust was placed in 'special measures' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in December 2013 over issues with patient waiting times in A&E, patient flow and leadership.

Healthwatch Havering published a report in April stating staff morale had improved since the level of births was capped at 8,000 rather than the previous 12,000.

Comments (7)

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1:12pm Fri 6 Jun 14

MorrisHickey says...

The arrogant complacency of Wendy Matthews is breath taking, The CEO of BHRUT needs to get off his backside too.

KING GEORGE MATERNITY HAS TO RE-OPEN NOW.
The arrogant complacency of Wendy Matthews is breath taking, The CEO of BHRUT needs to get off his backside too. KING GEORGE MATERNITY HAS TO RE-OPEN NOW. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 3

2:57pm Fri 6 Jun 14

@AndyWalker1945 says...

It would be helpful if BHRUT disclosed
a) How many hours the unit was closed for on the two earlier occassions
b) How many, if any, women were turned away when the maternity unit was shut.
BHRUT cannot leave the situation like this. NHS managers need to deliver a plan detailing how many extra beds and staff are required to make sure closures stop happening.
It would be helpful if BHRUT disclosed a) How many hours the unit was closed for on the two earlier occassions b) How many, if any, women were turned away when the maternity unit was shut. BHRUT cannot leave the situation like this. NHS managers need to deliver a plan detailing how many extra beds and staff are required to make sure closures stop happening. @AndyWalker1945
  • Score: 3

7:35am Sat 7 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

MorrisHickey wrote:
The arrogant complacency of Wendy Matthews is breath taking, The CEO of BHRUT needs to get off his backside too.

KING GEORGE MATERNITY HAS TO RE-OPEN NOW.
The use of capital letters will add weight to your case Mozza , well done.
[quote][p][bold]MorrisHickey[/bold] wrote: The arrogant complacency of Wendy Matthews is breath taking, The CEO of BHRUT needs to get off his backside too. KING GEORGE MATERNITY HAS TO RE-OPEN NOW.[/p][/quote]The use of capital letters will add weight to your case Mozza , well done. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -1

9:09am Sat 7 Jun 14

MorrisHickey says...

Village Idiot*. Have you visited 105 Essex Road?

Village Idiot*. Have you visited 105 Essex Road? [*aka Cornbeefur, Fresh Gravee, Mr Knalid and many more] MorrisHickey
  • Score: -1

4:21pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
MorrisHickey wrote:
The arrogant complacency of Wendy Matthews is breath taking, The CEO of BHRUT needs to get off his backside too.

KING GEORGE MATERNITY HAS TO RE-OPEN NOW.
The use of capital letters will add weight to your case Mozza , well done.
Is that your place of little secrets?

Why did you give up politics Morry?
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MorrisHickey[/bold] wrote: The arrogant complacency of Wendy Matthews is breath taking, The CEO of BHRUT needs to get off his backside too. KING GEORGE MATERNITY HAS TO RE-OPEN NOW.[/p][/quote]The use of capital letters will add weight to your case Mozza , well done.[/p][/quote]Is that your place of little secrets? Why did you give up politics Morry? Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

6:43pm Sat 7 Jun 14

hursthill says...

Things are now so bad in Romford, that the girls have a 10 month wait for a place in the maternity unit.
Things are now so bad in Romford, that the girls have a 10 month wait for a place in the maternity unit. hursthill
  • Score: 1

8:44pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

hursthill wrote:
Things are now so bad in Romford, that the girls have a 10 month wait for a place in the maternity unit.
Romford is full of night clubs and knee trembling over the weekends so there is a lot of demand.
[quote][p][bold]hursthill[/bold] wrote: Things are now so bad in Romford, that the girls have a 10 month wait for a place in the maternity unit.[/p][/quote]Romford is full of night clubs and knee trembling over the weekends so there is a lot of demand. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 2

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