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Maternity Services Rated Inadequate by Care Quality Commission (CQC)

At two hospitals in North Yorkshire, maternity services were recently rated as ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

Conclusions from the regulator indicated that the entire trust, comprised of teaching hospitals in York and Scarborough, “requires improvement”, having found “dirty equipment and premises” and a lack of management for clinical waste. Other issues raised in the inspection included issues with safety measures and a lack of trained and qualified midwifery staff across both hospitals.

The inspection that concluded in March 2023 also highlighted concerns with the security tagging of newborn babies and the emergency call system in the York hospital. Urgent and emergency care at this hospital remained inadequate compared to the last inspection conducted 12 months prior. In the March 2022 inspection, the trust was issued a warning notice to carry out the highlighted improvements.  

Although the 2023 report found that Scarborough had improved, inspectors highlighted continued poor leadership across the trusts that detrimentally affects overall services.

Following the recent inspection, the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have vowed to “address” the CQCs recommendations through continued work with them. The trust’s Medical Director, Dr Karen Stone, said: “we responded immediately to the urgent findings identified at the time of the inspection, and in the months since the visits we have made positive progress against areas highlighted in the report.”

Furthermore, chief executive of the trust, Simon Morritt, acknowledged the report, saying, “we have much more work to do”.

Meanwhile, deputy director of CQC operations in the north, Sarah Dronsfield, said: “the trust wasn’t always providing maternity care in a way that was planned to meet the needs of local women and people using services.”

Dronsfield added that a “lack of good processes” was putting the trust’s services at risk. In addition, she said, “Although improvements had been made in medical care since we issued a warning notice in March last year, at our visit in October, we found further serious concerns around maternity services and urgent and emergency care.”

Read the full BBC article here.

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