Whipps Cross Hospital maternity services remain Good despite staffing challenges

Whipps Cross University Hospital. Picture: Ken Mears

Whipps Cross University Hospital. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

The maternity services at Whipps Cross Hospital remain Good, despite midwifery staffing challenges.

Whipps Cross University Hospital's maternity services were visited by CQC inspectors in October and the rating for the service remained at Good overall, though inspectors did find some improvements.

The trust had "clearly defined and embedded processes" to keep people safe from abuse and staff demonstrated "understanding of safeguarding processes and awareness on how to escalate and report safeguarding concerns".

The Female Genital Mutilation team achieved the first UK court conviction against FGM in February 2019 and was a finalist for a national award for the Lotus clinic.

Dr Nigel Acheson, deputy chief inspector of hospitals in London and south east said: "At Whipps Cross University Hospital maternity department inspectors saw some outstanding practice.

"The service exceeded the Better Births Strategy's national target for the percentage of women booked into continuity of care pathways and personalised care."

Although the service had challenges regarding midwifery staffing, it ensured there were enough staff with the right qualifications, training and experience to keep women safe from avoidable harm, CQC inspectors said.

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Women said they felt listened to by health professionals and felt informed and involved in their treatment and care plans and staff provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.

CQC inspectors also noted that the maternity service estates were being refurbished to improve women's experience and kept expecting mums informed ahead of their appointments.

But, despite having numerous hand wash dispensers in all the areas, CQC observed inconsistent hand hygiene practice amongst all staff groups. However, the service reported zero incidents of hospital-acquired infections and women said they regularly saw staff using alcohol gel and wash their hands.

The CQC report also said most women and relatives told inspectors that car parking at the hospital presented challenges in reaching appointments on time.

Chief executive officer at Whipps Cross Hospital, Alan Gurney, said: "I am delighted that the maternity service at Whipps Cross have not only retained their overall rating of Good by the latest CQC inspection, but have actually improved further and are now rated Good in every domain.

"This is testament to the hard work of the whole team and will give enormous confidence to the users of the service and the local population. Congratulations to all involved."