In its latest inspection of our hospitals, the CQC rated maternity services as ‘Good’ – with an ‘Outstanding’ rating for leadership.
The inspectors observed “exemplary practice” in the care and treatment of women, who were provided with safe and effective care in accordance with recommended practices and treated with kindness, dignity and respect.
Inspectors also noticed outcomes for women using the service were continuously monitored and, where improvements were required, action was taken. Very strong engagement with patients and staff was also noted.
The departments’ innovative approaches were also praised, as well areas of ‘Outstanding’ practice, including the involvement of the Families and Birth Forum. This group assisted the design of the induction of labour suite, championed the take-up of breastfeeding rates through the use of peer supporters and improved information to raise awareness and promote the service to women when they had left hospital.
Lay representatives were also actively involved in patient experience rounds and 15 Steps Challenge – a series of toolkits used as part of the productive care work stream, which helped look at care in a variety of settings through the eyes of patients and service users, to help determine what good quality care looks, sounds and feels like.
A ‘baby buddy’ mobile phone app was also being piloted by the community midwives to inform women of pregnancy issues, common ailments and reasons to seek advice.