WORKFORCE: Midwifery staffing at Birmingham Women’s Foundation Trust is below nationally recommended levels.

The problem is classed as “extreme” in its most recently published board papers. The trust plans to complete a “bottom -up staffing review to gain assurance of correct midwifery establishment”.

The national standard recommends a staffing ratio of 1:26.

Minutes from a previous meeting also quote the trust’s director of nursing, midwifery and operations as saying that, although the trust had adequate controls in place, it would be unable to meet the national standard and would, therefore, be at risk of failing the NHS Litigation Authority standard for this area.

It is also falling short of safer childbirth guidelines recommending 168 hours of consultant presence on delivery suites. The trust’s level, according to the minutes, was 78.

This is also classed as an “extreme” risk and the trust is awaiting the outcome of an “expansion” project.