Guernsey maternity services meet 'excellent standards'

Image caption Guernsey's maternity services went through several years of controversy over "preventable" deaths

Maternity services in Guernsey are now meeting "excellent standards", independent assessors say, following controversy over baby deaths.

The "blue" designation from Scape (Safe, Clean and Personal Everytime) comes after three years of inspections.

The audit looked at a variety of care criteria including environment, leadership and safety on the ward.

Questions about care on the island were first raised in a 2014 in a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) report.

Some of the failings included a "preventable death" of baby girl following "inadequate investigation" into a previous tragedy, as well as 14-hour-old who died of "ineffective intubation".

Annabel Nicholas, Head of Midwifery & Paediatrics, described the designation as a "major success", which "reflects the hard work of the whole of team".

"We've gone a long way in ensuring we meet the highest standards and maintain the confidence of the community," she added.

'May have been prevented'

In 2014, 14-hour-old baby Jack Tually, who was born with a rare circulatory condition, died of a hypoxia - when a lack of oxygen reaches the body.

A 2019 inquest concluded that his death was contributed to by a lack of "effective" treatment.

His death led to a major review of services and the uncovering of greater structural problems with maternity care on the island

As a result, two midwives were struck off the nursing register in 2017, following investigation into the deaths of two babies in 2012 and 2014.

Both were caused in part by improper monitoring of the babies heartbeats.

An NMC panel concluded that the second baby's death '"may have been prevented" if a proper review had taken place in the first instance.

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