CQC praise for East Lancashire maternity services

Maternity services in East Lancashire have been praised for focusing on the needs of local women and families in a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
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Services at Burnley General Hospital, Blackburn Birthing Centre and Rossendale Birth Centre, where over 5,500 babies were born in 2021, were all assessed as part of a national maternity inspection programme.

Several areas were highlighted for outstanding practice including the impact of a midwife champion for equality and diversity who is actively working with local groups to ensure maternity services are meeting the needs of local communities.

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The Trust’s approach to safeguarding and ongoing activity to proactively improve services were also singled out for praise.

Burnley General Hospital. Lancashire Newborn Centre.Burnley General Hospital. Lancashire Newborn Centre.
Burnley General Hospital. Lancashire Newborn Centre.

Chief Nurse at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Julie Molyneux, said: “I am so proud of everyone working in our maternity services. They are passionate about what they do and work so hard to provide safe, personal and effective care for families. That has been recognised by this inspection.

“We are constantly making improvements based on feedback from families and local communities so we can provide the very best experience and support.

“It is particularly pleasing to see some of those improvements being recognised in the inspection report. We will use the reports to build on what is working well and identify areas for improvement.”

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Improvements needed identified by the CQC included increasing the completion of appraisals, which were restarted last year after being paused during Covid, and creating a strategy to develop future birth centre services.

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. The national inspection of maternity services aims to give an overview of the quality and safety of maternity care across the country.

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A team of inspectors look at a range of areas, including care, the environment, patient and staff experience, care records, medicines charts and documentation.

It leads to a rating in five categories - safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led – and maternity services at all sites at ELHT have a ‘good’ rating in every one.

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Chief executive at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Martin Hodgson, said: “Overall, this was a really positive report that everyone in our maternity services should be extremely proud of. Thank you to everyone involved in providing such a high standard of service to local communities.”

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