THE maternity services at Worcestershire Royal Hospital have seen improvements, according to a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
An inspection was carried out as part of the CQC’s national maternity services inspection programme, which will provide an up to date view of the quality of hospital maternity care across the country.
As well as maternity services seeing an enhancement from requires improvement to good, leadership of the service saw the same improvement.
Safety of the service still requires improvement, whilst other areas including ‘effective’, ‘caring’ and ‘responsive’ were not inspected and retain their good status.
The rating for Worcestershire Royal Hospital remains as requires improvement overall.
Following the inspection, the service and premises was praised for its control measures towards infection, and for maintaining a clean environment with clean equipment.
The report noted how leaders and teams had systems to identify and escalate relevant risks and issues, manage performance, and produce action plans to reduce their impact.
Carolyn Jenkinson, CQC’s deputy director of secondary and specialist healthcare, said: “When we visited maternity services at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, staff were working hard to deliver a high standard of care to women, people using the service, and their babies.
“We found leaders were visible and approachable, they also had the skills and abilities to run the service well and understood and managed the priorities and issues they faced.”
And although the service had not achieved full compliance with national incentive schemes, they had detailed action plans in place and were making steady progress.
Inspectors recognised that most staff felt respected, supported and valued and safety incidents were managed well.
Staff also recognised and reported incidents and near misses. Managers investigated incidents and shared lessons learned with the whole team and the wider service.
Carolyn Jenkinson added: “We found the service had good medicines management. Staff followed systems and processes to safely prescribe and administer medicines to people.
“Staff reviewed each person’s regularly and provided advice to women and people using the service about the medicines they were taking.
“Our inspectors saw that staff kept clear and up to date records of people’s care and treatment, it was stored securely and easily available to all staff providing care.
“When people using the service transferred to a new team’s care, there were no delays in staff accessing their records which meant they were clear about people’s individual health needs.”
However, there were issues with gaps in mandatory training among staff in key skills, with not all medical staff having completed specific emergency training nor were they up to date with pool evacuation training.
Staff did not always fully complete and update risk assessments reducing their ability to identify risks and take action.
And the service did not always have enough medical staff with the right qualifications, skills, training, and experience to keep patients and babies safe or provide the right care.
The service experienced some issues with recruitment and retention and sickness of staff.
An internal audit programme did not always collect the data leaders required in order to make fully informed decisions, making it difficult to identify and understand and manage the priorities and issues the service faced.
Lastly, cleaning records had not been consistently completed.
“There were some areas of concern which needed to be addressed to keep people safe,” added Carolyn Jenkinson.
“For example, the service experienced some issues with recruitment and retention and sickness of staff. Since the inspection the trust has recruited more staff to maintain safe staffing levels.
“Despite finding some issues, staff had worked hard since our previous inspection to improve the quality of care they were delivering to people.
“We’ll continue to monitor the service, including through future inspections, to ensure people continue to receive a good standard of care.”