LETTER: Not only maternity...

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It wasn’t only maternity services which the CQC rated as ‘inadequate’ – not that you’d realise it from this letters page.

Outpatients at both EDGH and Conquest were also rated ‘inadequate’. Most worrying amongst the CQC’s comments on this department were ‘Patients were not being seen for follow-up appointments within the timescale requested by their clinician.

There were no alerting systems in place to warn staff that patients had not been seen for follow-up appointments in a timely manner.’

I assume this includes patients with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

The surgery departments at both EDGH and Conquest were again also rated ‘inadequate’.

The CQC identified surgery at the Conquest as having “insufficient staffing levels in most of the surgical area with main theatres and the surgical assessment unit being worst affected.”

Readers are no doubt aware that, since the reconfiguration, only Conquest deals with orthopaedic and trauma surgery.

I agree the comments in the CQC report on maternity services (which can be found in the report on Conquest) make harrowing reading. However, the chance of babies being born ‘on the roadside’ as a result of the reconfiguration is outside the CQC’s remit.

Why hasn’t there been more focus on the failings at the Conquest maternity unit which the CQC has now highlighted?

Interestingly the CQC commented that “The two midwifery-led units had a positive impact on the service overall and undoubtedly improved the trust performance overall.”

I presume that is a reference to the midwifery-led unit at EDGH.

Please can we look at all the issues identified by the CQC to ensure both our hospitals are fit for everyone to use.

Mrs J Wilkinson

The Glade, Hailsham