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University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust first to achieve ‘outstanding’ rating for leadership in the CQC’s National Maternity Services Inspection Programme

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has praised the safe and personalised Maternity services delivered at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust and rated the leadership provided to support patients as Outstanding.

UHCW NHS Trust is the first Maternity Service to achieve the highest possible rating for the well-led category as part of the CQC’s National Maternity Services Inspection Programme.

Inspectors praised a collective focus on continuous improvement after visiting all areas of the service - including the antenatal clinic and ward, maternity triage, labour ward, birth centre, day assessment and postnatal ward - in November 2022.

The CQC said: “There was a demonstrated commitment to best practice and a strong organisational commitment towards ensuring equality and inclusion.

“Staff were proud of the organisation, spoke highly of the culture, were clear about their accountabilities and put women and families at the centre of their care.”

The overall rating for the Maternity service at University Hospital, Coventry remains as Good. The rating for ‘well-led’ went up from Good to Outstanding, while the rating for ‘safe’ has stayed as Good.

The CQC said teams are focused on delivering high quality care and ensuring women and birthing people had choice and control over the way their care is planned and is based on what mattered to them, and their individual needs and preferences.

Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive Officer at UHCW NHS Trust, said: “I am proud and delighted that the hard work and dedication of our Maternity teams and services has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission.

“We aim to ensure every expectant mother and their loved ones are supported - from pregnancy, to birth, to the critical first months of parenthood - with a comprehensive package of personalised, high-quality support.

“These inspection findings show we are realising this, thanks to the expertise of our staff, the approachability of our leaders and our unwavering commitment to engaging with service users to help further enhance the patient experience.”

In the formal report, inspectors highlighted areas of outstanding practice across the service including:

  • Staff were committed to continually improving services and safe innovation was celebrated.
  • The Trust becoming the first university hospital in the UK to be awarded the internationally acclaimed Pathway to Excellence designation.
  • The work being undertaken by the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage research in partnership with three universities and three other hospitals.
  • Staff training being responsive to patient needs and using cutting-edge technology and real-life human factors to enhance safety considerations.
  • The establishment of one-stop clinics, drop-ins and education classes for vulnerable women.
  • A neonatal outreach community service (NCOS) being established in September 2022.
  • People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment.
  • Diversity and inclusion being treated with high importance across the services.
  • Staff assessed risks to women, acted on them and kept good care records.

Stella Manzie DBE, Chair of the Trust’s Board of Directors, said: “It is really pleasing to see so many areas of outstanding practice highlighted and I’d like to congratulate our Maternity teams and services for reaching these high standards.

“Better never stops is a key part of our Organisational Strategy and this is positively reinforced by the CQC highlighting how lessons learnt and safety considerations are shared across the Maternity team and the Trust as a whole.

“To ensure we continue to improve, we are actively addressing focus areas such as the introduction of a dedicated bereavement suite, with a location already identified to complement the facilities we have in place.

“We would like to thank everyone who works in Maternity and the Trust for helping us to continue to provide the best care possible for our patients.”

The full report will be published on CQC’s website on Friday 10th March 2023.

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