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MP steps up after critical Torbay health report

Thursday, 22 February 2024 11:26

By Guy Henderson - Local Democracy Reporter @GuyAHenderson

Torbay MP Kevin Foster

Maternity services under the spotlight

Torbay MP Kevin Foster has pledged to help the bay’s health trust make improvements after a watchdog report raised concerns about maternity care.

A report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said maternity services for pregnant mothers and newborn babies at Torbay Hospital did not give them the expected standard of care and treatment they deserved.

The CQC says the service requires improvement in safety and leadership. Among the concerns are people being put at risk of harm, unsafe staffing levels, unborn babies’ heart rates not always being adequately checked and a need for a second theatre for emergency surgery.

It said hospital leaders had not addressed known issues quickly enough, although it did praise staff for their engagement with patients.

The inspection took place in November, and Torbay and South Devon NHS Health Trust says it already has a comprehensive action plan to tackle the areas where it has been told to improve.

It has a new triage telephone service and new resuscitation and monitoring equipment.

Mr Foster has offered to work with the trust to help secure investment for improvements.

He said: “Whilst it is encouraging to read the positive comments about staff engaging well with women, the overall outcome reflects the need for further improvements.

“I am always happy to work with the teams at our local hospital to secure investment and to tackle challenges in the delivery of healthcare locally, including the issues laid out in this report. I note the progress made so far, including the delivery of new equipment, and to seeing further progress towards improving these key services.”

The MP said the Building a Brighter Future project, which includes a major redevelopment of the hospital site, would transform healthcare facilities in Torbay.

And, he added: “We need to ensure these are matched by the quality of the services being provided within them.”

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