A Government Inspection Reveals Serious Failings at Northwick Park Hospital Maternity Unit

A Government Inspection Reveals Serious Failings at Northwick Park Hospital Maternity Unit: Ealing Mothers Victims of Inadequate Service

Since Ealing Hospital Maternity Birthing Unit closed down at the end of June 2015, mums to be in Ealing have had nowhere to go to in Ealing to have their babies. Some have chosen Northwick Park Hospital Maternity Unit in Harrow.

In October/November 2015 the Government’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an inspection on Northwick Park Hospital. Incredibly it took seven months before the CQC report was published at www.cqc.org.uk. The report contains much criticism generally about hospital services and specifically about the maternity services. These hospital maternity services criticisms are summarised below:

Requiring Improvement:

+ Safety arrangements

+ Early Pregnancy Unit cleanliness

+ Medicines sometimes in unlocked cabinets and sometimes stored at the wrong temperature

+ Fetal Heart Rate checks

+ Low Midwife staffing levels

+ Minimum standards of consultant presence per week not met

+ Shortage of Health Visitors

+ Too many non-elective Caesareans

+ No consent, Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty training

+ No documented birth plans

+ Delays in Caesareans, induction of Labour and in Discharge

+ Poor maternity and gynaecology governance.


Before the closure of Ealing Hospital Maternity Unit the NHS Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group (ECCG) stated ‘….it has been able to improve maternity care for mothers across North West London’. For many new mums in both Ealing and Harrow this statement has been shown to be patently untrue.

The CQC criticised the standard of cleanliness in the whole hospital. There was savage criticism of the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust – the legal entity running Northwick Park Hospital. CQC stated that the Trust had failed to communicate its strategy and vision, it had failed to communicate with staff and it had failed to support staff and make them feel valued.