Guernsey hospital director 'eases baby deaths risk'

Loveridge Ward, the maternity unit, at Princess Elizabeth Hospital
Image caption The island's health authorities have agreed to create three senior positions

Doctors say the appointment of a medical director to lead Guernsey's hospital will help avoid further deaths in maternity services.

The Health and Social Services Department's board members resigned after the death of a newborn baby this year.

A review by the Nursing and Midwifery Council said it had "deep concerns" about midwifery supervision.

The Health Department is seeking a medical director for the first time.

Hospital failures

It is also seeking a clinical director of maternity services and a clinical director of governance.

Dr Brian Parkin, from the British Medical Association, said: "Hospital failures have often been caused because there has not been a proper partnership between management and clinicians.

"A truly independent medical director would have a role in avoiding those problems occurring."

The hospital has also implemented a number of changes following the death:

  • Four midwives on every shift compared to three
  • An additional midwifery clinical lead is being recruited, which will mean six working on the maternity ward at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital
  • A supervisor of midwifery will be recruited for six months with 24/7 supervisory support from Jersey
  • The working patterns of obstetricians have been changed on a trial basis and will be subject to ongoing review
  • Changes to the procedure for approving medicines to be administered during labour

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