The report, by independent patient group the Consultative Healthcare Council, CHC, found the Princess of Wales Maternity Unit was understaffed, cramped and ‘not fit for purpose’.
From April 2011 to March 2012, the unit’s admissions rose to more than double the capacity to 6,861 births, due, it claims, to the change to a midwife-led unit at Solihull.
The Heart of England Foundation Trust, which runs Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope, was also 28 midwives short.
One member of staff told the report: “I think they should say they are too busy, but I know they won’t close the doors.”
CHC Chair Gerry Robinson said he was hopeful the report would help improve the unit.
“Previously we have seen our work assist in changes and I am confident that this report will further strengthen what we believe to be an excellent hospital,” he said.
However Meriden MP Caroline Spelman was ‘sceptical’ of the report’s findings which she said had come before the midwife-led unit reached intended capacity or had its official opening.
“It would be better to review its operation once this has been achieved,” she said.
Since the CHC visit, the Trust has recruited 15.5 extra midwives and is currently taking on more.
Joy Payne, head of midwifery, said: “We welcome the report and are actively working to further strengthen the service.”