Our maternity services rated good again by CQC

Our maternity teams are celebrating being rated as Good again by the CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has again rated maternity services at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) as good following an inspection in June.

The inspection was carried out as part of CQC’s national maternity inspection programme.

The programme aims to provide an up to date view of the quality of hospital maternity care across the country, and a better understanding of what is working well to support learning and improvement at a local and national level.

Inspectors only looked at the areas of safe and well-led in the maternity service. Following the inspection, the overall rating for maternity, as well as the area of well-led, was rated as good. The rating for safe went down from good to requires improvement.

The overall rating for the trust, as well as Calderdale Royal Hospital, remains as good.

CHFT’s Chief Nurse, Lindsay Rudge, said: “This is wonderful news for the Trust and reflects the hard work and dedication of all our colleagues delivering maternity services.

“We are delighted that the report recognised how proud our maternity colleagues are to work here, and how dignity and respect are intrinsic elements of our culture.

“I am pleased that the CQC recognised our areas of outstanding practice, particularly highlighting our work to support women and birthing people who have experienced a previous baby loss, and those having a surrogacy pregnancy. The report also praised our breast milk donation bank, which supports babies who have been born prematurely.

“We always strive for improvement and there is always more we can do. We will continue to integrate the recommendations the CQC have made to further develop our maternity services, with a focus on improving staffing levels as a priority.”

Carolyn Jenkinson, deputy director of secondary and specialist healthcare said: “When we inspected maternity services at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, we saw a service that provided good care to women and people using the service, and their babies. It was led by committed and effective leaders who prioritised safety and made any necessary improvements when concerns were raised to them.

“We saw staff who were proud of the organisation, were clear about their roles and accountabilities and put people at the centre of their own care. Dignity and respect were intrinsic elements of the culture and all staff we observed clearly demonstrated this.

“Staff spoke positively to us about the leadership team and how they were able to speak up about difficult issues. For example, staff raised concerns around the induction of labour process and how their well-being had been impacted by abuse from people due to delays in care. As a result, a quality improvement project was undertaken to look at improving the process and reduce any delays.

“It was also positive to see the service’s commitment in trying to tackle health inequalities. Maternity staff had recently, alongside the local college, conducted some antenatal classes for people whose first language isn’t English.

“However, we did see some areas where improvements are needed. The service was sometimes understaffed which could place women, people using the service and their babies at risk. It was encouraging, however, that leaders had a responsive approach to these shortages and moved staff between units to ensure people at higher risk were fully supported.

“We will continue to monitor the trust, including through future inspections, to ensure the necessary improvements are made so people can continue to receive a good standard of care.” 

Inspectors found the following during this inspection:

  • Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent.
  • There were additional clinics and support for people who were having a surrogacy pregnancy.
  • The service engaged well with women, people using the service and the community.
  • A bereavement clinic had been set up by a midwife and consultant obstetrician for people who had a non-viable pregnancy or had experienced a previous baby loss.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills.
  • The service controlled infection risk well.
  • The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them.
  • Staff assessed risks to people, acted on them and kept good digital care records.
  • Policies did not always reflect the most up to date and appropriate guidance available.

The full report is one the CQC website