HOSPITAL bosses say a £2.5m investment, 23 new midwives and intense staff training is already saving lives of new born babies and their mums.

It comes after a “long-standing” and “poor” staff culture saw Basildon Hospital’s maternity unit issued with a damning inspection report which labelled the department inadequate, last month.

But now the hospital says changes are already seeing fewer babies being born with complications.

Mandeep Singh, Group Clinical Director for Maternity at Basildon, explained how bringing in new leadership in the maternity unit, along with staff reacting quickly to clinical changes has had a real impact.

Mr Singh said: “We will be welcoming 23 new midwives who will be joining us in October, and more than £2.5 million is being spent on improving the labour ward, postnatal ward and revamping the triage unit.

“Our priority is the safety of mums and their babies. The improvements that we’ve made are making a difference to both our patients and staff on the maternity unit. First and foremost, we want families to be confident that our maternity unit is safe and that they are getting the best standard of care at Basildon Hospital.

“This is just the beginning, but these changes are helping us deliver that.”

Other steps taken to improve safety include the installation of a central system to remotely monitor babies’ heart rate and more than 200 staff working in high risk baby areas have received extra fetal monitoring training - helping them to identify signs of reduced blood flow to the baby.

More consultants are also available on the labour ward, as well as extra staff to cover all emergency areas.

Since June the maternity unit has also put consultants in charge of managing planned caesarean births, meaning there are far fewer complications - the hospital says.

During the inspection, health watchdog the Care Quality Commission 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.

It also said there were six babies born in a poor condition and pointed to a lack of learning and leadership by the unit, even after mum Gabriela Pintilie’s tragic death in February 2019.

She died after losing 3,000ml of blood and was not given enough blood to replenish her loss.