Warwick Hospital’s maternity department still ‘requires improvement’ along with its medical care, according to an update into a Care Quality Commission inspection.
The maternity department has been expanded to accommodate up to 200 births a year that would have been managed at the Horton, Banbury whose consultant-led maternity was replaced in October by a midwife-only unit.
Oxfordshire health bosses have consulted on making that arrangement permanent.
Some mothers who have not wanted to give birth at the JR, Oxford have gone to Warwick. But that unit was given a ‘requires improvement’ notice in March 2016 that has been upheld on appeal by the CQC.
Its report said: “Care in labour was not always achieved... The trust did not provide evidence that any registered clinical staff within the maternity service had completed their level 3 safeguarding children training, which was a national requirement for their role.
“Records were not always stored securely. Termination of pregnancy records were not consistently completed in line with legislation.
“There were processes in place for maternity staff to learn from incidents, however these were not working effectively in practice.
“Intravenous fluids were not always stored in a safe environment meaning there was a risk they could be stolen or tampered with. The trust’s mandatory training target of 85 per cent had not been achieved in either the maternity or gynaecology service.”
The report said there was a good track record on safety with low rates of infection. Patients reported that they received good care and that staff were friendly and helpful.
Patient records were completed and observations recorded. When women asked for help, they were responded to in a timely manner or told that they would be helped as soon as possible.
Patients told inspectors that staff were helpful and that they explained things to them in a manner they could understand. Friends and family surveys had reported positive feedback from patients.
An appeal by the South Warwickshire Trust resulted in up-rating of two ‘requires improvement’ assessments in end of life care.
A spokesman said: “The trust appealed this ‘requires improvement’ rating and in March 2017 the CQC responded to the trust’s appeal and accepted there were some procedural weaknesses in their inspection and there was evidence of some unduly harsh ratings judgements.
“The latter resulted in changes to two of the trust’s ratings but the CQC have not changed our overall trust rating.
“The trust is still not satisfied with this outcome and have requested a reinspection as soon as possible.
“Following the recent changes to maternity services at the Horton we have seen an increase in demand for our maternity services which is in line with our predictions. We have the capacity and will welcome women from Banbury and surrounding areas.
“We would like to assure expectant families in Banbury and Warwickshire that we are in a position to provide safe and effective maternity services and we will be increasing choice for women, as recommended by the CQC with the opening of a midwifery-led birth unit early next year.”
The ratings changed are end of life care: responsiveness – from requires improvement to good; and well-led – from inadequate to requires improvement.