Bosses at Thurrock Council are set to hear what improvements Basildon Hospital have made to their maternity unit, after it was slammed in a damning report by the CQC.

The maternity unit at Basildon Hospital- which forms part of the Mid and South Essex Hospitals Group - was given an inadequate rating after an unannounced inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June this year.

During their visit, inspectors found high-risk women were giving birth in the low-risk area and insufficient numbers of staff had relevant skills and experience to keep women safe.

Worryingly, staff as well as the unit’s senior leadership team told the inspectors about a long standing poor culture over a number of years, which had resulted in a deterioration of the safety of the service and, as a result governance and oversight for improved progress and change was not robust.

Thurrock Council's health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee will now hear from senior trust members in November about what measures the unit have put in place, since receiving the findings from the health watchdog.

Councillor Shane Ralph, chair of the committee, said: "This is an issue of great concern to us and the borough’s residents.

"Women going into Basildon's maternity unit will be concerned by reports they have seen about the unit following the CQC inspection.

"We have asked members of the hospital trust to attend our November meeting to outline what improvements they have made and will be making to reassure women that they can be confident to go to Basildon University Hospital to have their babies."

Following their inspection, the CQC issued a warning notice to the trust identifying the specific areas where improvements must be made. 

The report however recognised that improvements had been put in place and were ongoing.

The improvement plan is being monitored on a weekly basis by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England and the CQC.