Whipps Cross Hospital’s maternity service has been rated ‘Good’ in all areas following an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The report, which was published today, progressed the maternity service’s ‘safe’ rating to ‘Good’, and all other areas (‘effective’, ‘caring’, ‘responsive’, ‘well-led’) maintained their ‘Good’ rating since the last inspection.
The CQC noted that ‘the Trust had clearly defined and embedded processes to keep people safe from abuse and staff demonstrated understanding of safeguarding processes and awareness on how to escalate and report safeguarding concerns.’
The report also highlighted The Female Genital Mutilation team who achieved the first UK court conviction against FGM in February 2019 and was a finalist for a national award for the Lotus clinic.
Dr Nigel Acheson, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (London and South East), commented: “At Whipps Cross Hospital maternity department inspectors saw some outstanding practice. The service exceeded the Better Births Strategy’s national target for the percentage of women booked into continuity of care pathways and personalised care.”
The national target for the Better Births Strategy is to have greater than 20% of women booked into continuity of care pathways. Whipps Cross Hospital’s current performance is 35% and the service is aiming for greater than 40% by the end of March 2019.
Other positive findings reported by the CQC included the quality of the mandatory training processes, the quality of midwives available, the level of emotional support provided to patients and the cleanliness of the wards. Patients interviewed by the CQC said they felt listened to by health professionals and felt informed and involved in their treatment and care plans.
Although the service had challenges regarding midwifery staffing, the CQC said that the service ensured there were enough staff with the right qualifications, training and experience to keep women safe from avoidable harm.
Chief Executive Officer at Whipps Cross Hospital, Alan Gurney, said: “I am delighted that the maternity service at Whipps Cross have not only retained their overall rating of ‘good’ by the latest CQC inspection, but have actually improved further and are now rated ‘good’ in every domain. This is testament to the hard work of the whole team and will give enormous confidence to the users of the service and the local population. Congratulations to all involved.”
Whipps Cross is investing nearly £7 million to re-develop its maternity services thanks to Barts Charity funding. Work has already started and will be completed by late 2020.
A separate CQC report also published today looked at Newham Hospital’s diagnostic imaging department, also part of Barts Health NHS Trust.
Following their inspection, the CQC rated the department as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall - remaining the same as in a previous inspection in 2018. The CQC upgraded the department’s rating for ‘well-led’ from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’, and the rating for ‘safe’ stayed the same at ‘Requires Improvement’.
The CQC said the trust had achieved progress in addressing its concerns, however, there was still work to do to deliver and sustain progress. Inspectors judged that the necessary changes of the Requirement Notice had been met as far as possible within a short timescale.