Inspectors from the health watchdog have criticised the maternity ward at Basildon Hospital.

The report, which was published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) yesterday, rates the hospital as good but says some practises in the maternity ward are not always safe.

While the hospital received a good rating overall, as a result of these concerns, the maternity ward was rated as requires improvement.

Inspectors found women who were identified as "high-risk" were not always cared for in appropriate areas with access to appropriate staff and equipment.

The report states: "We were not assured that infection and prevention control measures were consistently applied in maternity."

Other areas for concern included that the Basildon and Thurrock Hospital trust did not have robust systems to identify risks, plans to eliminate or reduce them, and cope with both the expected and unexpected.

Inspectors did note that staff were kind, caring and considerate and women were happy with the care they were receiving.

They also rated the ward as good in areas of effectiveness, caring and responsive but said its leadership required improvement.

The findings come after the Echo revealed in March the hospital had launched an investigation after the unrelated deaths of a mother during childbirth and a baby on the ward.

A ten-day closure was put in place between February 13 and 23 which the hospital says was for refurbishment.

Basildon Hospital has been approached for comment.