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‘Deep-rooted cultural problems’ found within trust’s ‘inadequate’ maternity services

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised serious concerns about a major teaching trust’s maternity services and taken action to prevent patients coming to harm.

The watchdog has imposed conditions on the registration of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust’s maternity and midwifery services at Nottingham City Hospital and Queen’s Medical Centre and rated them “inadequate”. 

Following an inspection in October, the CQC identified several serious concerns, including leaders lacking the skills to effectively head up the service, a lack of an open culture where staff could raise concerns, and staff failing to complete patient risk assessments or identify women at risk of deterioration. 

In its findings, the CQC reported how “fragile” staff wanted to escalate their concerns directly to the regulator, particularly around the leadership’s response to the “verbal outcome of the inspection”. The regulator called this “further evidence of the deep-rooted cultural problems” and escalated these concerns directly to trust CEO Tracy Taylor, who would be “personally overseeing the improvement process required”.

Inspectors also found the service did not have enough staff with the right skills, qualifications and experience to “keep women safe from avoidable harm”.

The CQC also issued the trust a warning notice over concerns around documenting risk assessments and IT systems. The trust has three months to make improvements. 

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 2 December 2020

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