Basildon Hospital responds to report on maternity services

CQC

PATIENTS at Basildon Hospital have been assured that it has stepped up to the plate after being criticised over safety in a recent Care Quality Commission inspection reports the Thurrock Independent.

In the report, which ranked the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust overall as ‘Good’ the hospital’s maternity services were singled out as putting patients at risk.

A statement from CQC said: “Maternity services ratings for safe had declined from good to requires improvement. There had been a decline in safety practices in relation to women who were assessed as ‘high risk’ and the leadership team.

“The well-led rating for maternity services had declined from outstanding to requires improvement. There had been some changes in the leadership since our last inspection and the new maternity leadership team was developing.”

Clare Panniker, chief executive at the hospital, says things are already improving.

She said: “Over the last few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of women using our services who have complex medical needs.
“We are in the process of increasing the physical space for ‘high risk’ women as well as recruiting additional clinical staff.

“We are confident that our maternity services are safe and that the changes we are making would result in an improved rating if the CQC were to visit again now.

“We look forward to welcoming CQC back to reassess these.”

A summary of the whole inspection, published earlier this month, is as follows:

Our rating of the trust stayed the same. We rated it as good because:

We rated safe and responsive as requires improvement. Effective, caring and well-led were rated as good.

We rated one of the trust’s four services we inspected as requires improvement and three as good. In rating the trust, we took into account the current ratings of the four core services not inspected this time. However, we also considered that the rating in Urgent and Emergency services within the safe domain had been in place since 2015. The trust presented updated information which meant it had a disproportionate effect on the trusts overall rating. Therefore, we have overridden the overall aggregation principles and rated the trust overall as good.

There were effective processes in place to ensure that learning from incidents was shared across divisions and embedded to minimise the risk of re-occurrence.

There were enough nursing and medical staff with the right mix of qualifications and skills, to keep patients safe and provide the right care and treatment. There were processes in place to address staffing shortages to deliver safe patient care.

Infection prevention and control policies and protocols were in place and regularly audited. Staff kept themselves and equipment clean.

There were effective systems and processes in place to conduct internal and external audits and teams acted on results.

There were robust processes in place to manage demand and capacity through performance monitoring and systems to manage access and flow.
The trust had developed a strategy to develop services in line with the over-arching strategy of a merger and clinical re-configuration. This meant that teams were able to link current activity to the trust’s future plans.

Managers worked hard to create a positive culture which was patient focussed and staff could raise concerns openly.
However, we also found:
Maternity services ratings for safe had declined from good to requires improvement. There had been a decline in safety practices in relation to women who were assessed as ‘high risk’ and the leadership team. The well-led rating for maternity services had declined from outstanding to requires improvement. There had been some changes in the leadership since our last inspection and the new maternity leadership team was developing.

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