Women giving birth at the unit at the centre of Britain’s biggest maternity scandal are still at risk, a report by watchdogs reveals.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commision (CQC) found desperate staffing shortages and a lack of equipment used to monitor women in labour at Shrewsbury Hospital.
It comes just weeks after a leaked report revealed the deaths of 42 babies and three months, at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, with more than 600 cases under investigation.
In April CQC inspectors warned that high vacancy and sickness rates were endangering the safety of patients.
The inspectorate said it had found some improvements to the trust’s maternity services, when it paid a follow-up visit last month.
But it warned of major shortages of midwives, with around one quarter of posts unfilled and highlighted a catalogue of safety risks.
The regulator said it had serious concerns about Accident and Emergency departments and medical wards at both Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and had taken urgent action to step in to protect the safety of patients.
The trust is currently rated as inadequate.
Last month a leaked report about the trust told of the deaths of 45 mothers and babies a”toxic” culture stretching back 40 years.
The investigation, part of an independent inquiry ordered by the last Health Secretary, warns that failings date back four decades, in what is likely to be the worst NHS maternity scandal in history.
Staff at the trust routinely dismissed parents’ concerns, were unkind, got dead babies’ names wrong and, in one instance, referred to a baby who died as “it”.