Maternity services improve

Government inspectors say maternity services at a Norfolk hospital have improved and are now rated good.

The Care Quality Commission visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and found a number of changes since a previous visit.

Their findings

Inspectors particularly noted an improvement in the culture of the service, that staff worked well together and felt respected, supported and valued.

They said the maternity team communicated well with patients, and that team members were clear about their roles and accountabilities.

People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment. According to the CQC, maternity leaders understood how health inequalities affected treatment and outcomes for women from different groups.

Inspectors also found maternity services at the site were well-led, though ratings for being safe still requires improvement.

In the ‘safe’ category the CQC positively assessed safeguarding, cleanliness, infection prevention, assessing and responding to risk, However, they found areas such as mandatory training attendance needed to increase which had impacted the ‘safe’ score.

The patients view

Maternity patient Sophie Reeve was full of praise for the care she received as she welcomed the arrival of her latest child – Leap Year baby Donny Zipfell – who was born at The QEH weighing 7lb 4oz.

Mum Sophie who lives near Thetford said: “This is our fourth baby we’ve had at The QEH. The team have always been amazing and the midwives are very supportive and it was nice to have the same midwife throughout my pregnancy. Our consultant and anaesthetist were also brilliant. The tea and toast after the birth was the best!”

Commenting on the ‘Good’ CQC rating Esther Dorken, Head of Midwifery (Interim) said:

“We are absolutely delighted the CQC inspectors found such a significant change in the culture in our service and the positive changes that make such a difference to the compassionate care our patients receive at The QEH.

“I am incredibly proud of the team here who have worked exceptionally hard to elevate standards. We have already implemented changes to ensure areas where we performed less well attain the standards that staff and patients should expect without exception.”