Safety at hospital maternity unit must be improved, report says

Nottinghamshire's King's Mill Hospital is located in Sutton in Ashfield

Although good, maternity services at a hospital in Nottinghamshire need to be safer, according to a report on the subject.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a service inspection at King's Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield in November.

Overall, it gave maternity services a "good" rating; however, the safety rating was changed to "requires improvement.".

The hospital's management trust announced that improvements had started to be made.

The report claimed the service had enough staff to provide for women's needs and keep them safe, but it also stated that not every employee had gone through the required maternity and safeguarding training.

According to the report, systems and processes in place could cause delays in the evaluation of women and the escalation of their needs while the use of risk assessments in triage was inconsistent.

However, it was noted that staff members from all service departments completed risk assessments for every woman and promptly took action to eliminate or reduce risk.

Additionally, it stated that hospital administrators were aware of the issues and priorities the service faced and managed them.

Two exceptional practice areas were noted in the report.

It claimed that the trust supported new mothers and educated them on the difficulties associated with feeding a baby.

Additionally, it stated that the trust had taken into account the difficulties returning employees from maternity leave faced when attempting to express milk for their infants.

As a result, the hospital now has a feeding pod near the main entrance that is open to staff, guests, and patients.

The inspection was conducted as part of a national review of the CQC's program for inspecting maternity services.

"We found a leadership team that had the skills and abilities to manage the service well," said Greg Rielly, the CQC's deputy director of operations in the Midlands. .

"The service had a positive culture, and the staff members felt respected, encouraged, and valued.

"We were pleased to find that leaders were visible and approachable for them to do so, and we found that both women and staff felt they could raise concerns without fear. .

"We did uncover safety-related issues, though, which leaders need to address.

We discovered that the triage system was inefficient because calls could accidentally be routed to the labor ward due to a phone line with multiple options. .

"In addition, although staff claimed to know how to prioritize calls involving clinical concern, this wasn't always explicitly documented, making it impossible for leaders to be certain that the proper triaging had taken place. ".

According to Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, efforts to address the issues raised by the report are already under way.

The chief nurse, Phil Bolton, stated: "We welcome feedback from the CQC because we want to make sure that our maternity services continue to provide patients and their families with a high standard of care.

"Despite the ongoing challenges faced by maternity services, the 'good' rating justly acknowledges the fantastic work our maternity colleagues do on a daily basis.

"Continuous improvement is one of our top priorities, and we are actively working to address both the issues raised and other ones we have noted.

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