Maternity services have gained recognition for their high quality, safe services for mums and their babies following an intensive review.
The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trust’s (CNST) maternity standards are divided into three levels and the organisation is now one of very few in the country (around 20) to achieve a maximum level 3 status.
It follows a rigorous assessment over two days looking at all aspects of maternity care over the five specific standards – organisation, clinical care, high risk care, communication, postnatal and new born care.
The assessors’ detailed assessment process included interviews, document and policy checks and examination of health records and review of clinical audits to ensure that these polices and guidelines are implemented consistently in every day practice.
Now the team has learned they have achieved a Level 3 passing 48 out of 50 criteria – one of the best scores in the country.
Head of midwifery Yvonne Regan said: “It’s fantastic news and a real achievement for all the staff who have been working really hard to make it happen – from those responsible for gathering all the evidence together to the staff working on the wards – it’s really been a team effort.
“The CNST rating is a very clear indicator of the safety and quality of care provided for mothers delivering at our maternity units, either in the hospital itself or at home with the support of our community midwives.”
The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) provides an ‘insurance scheme’ to NHS Trusts against claims for clinical negligence through the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST).
Trusts have to meet standards of care that show they are promoting and using effective risk management to minimise the risk of harm to their patients. Because of the nature of claims in NHS maternity services (where payments for incidents are high as they often have to support the baby through their life), a separate set of CNST standards are in place for maternity services.
Divisional manager for women and children, Fran Toller, added: “This is the highest level to achieve nationally and is excellent news for the service and the trust. I’d like to thank the team which led on our detailed preparations for the assessment and all the other staff in both maternity and neonatal services who contributed to this successful outcome.”