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Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust's Maternity services continue to be rated as Good by CQC

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Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust are extremely pleased their maternity services remain rated as ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a recent inspection.

CQC had previously rated Royal Berkshire Hospital maternity services as ‘Good Overall’ in 2019 and this latest inspection highlights the commitment by staff in maintaining this rating, and in particular the rating for safety which has increased from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘Good’.

Katie Prichard-Thomas, Chief Nurse at the trust said, ‘We are very happy to receive this positive report and see the improvements to safety being recognised by the CQC. We have worked hard to ensure our staff are trained and supported so they can focus on providing safe care for women and birthing people using our services.’

Christine Harding, Director of Midwifery said, ‘We are very proud to be rated as good and this inspection shows how our staff are passionate about continuous improvement and making the maternity experience safer and more positive for women and birthing people. Being rated as good for safety is a real testament to the hard work and commitment of the whole team. The inspectors recognised the level of service we provide, ensuring birthing people can access our service when they need it, using services such as our new 24-hour Maternity Assessment Unit.’

The CQC inspectors found the following during this inspection:

  • Staff had training in key skills and worked well together for the benefit of people using the maternity service.
  • Staff assessed risks to people using the service, acted on them, and kept good care records.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills.
  • Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent. Staff felt respected, supported, and valued. They were focused on the needs of women and birthing people receiving care.
  • Infection risks were managed well, and the service had enough equipment to keep women, people using the service and their babies safe.

The CQC report also details how well the trust’s maternity services engages with the local community and worked on improvement projects with the Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership to ensure women and birthing people using the service, and their babies receive the best possible care.

Denise Challis, Chair of Royal Berkshire Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership said, ‘Our positive working relationship with the maternity staff and senior leaders enables true coproduction where our voice and those voices that we represent are valued and relied upon to improve maternity services. We look forward to digesting the report alongside service users and continuing our work as a critical friend to the service.’

Some areas for improvement were noted in the inspection and immediate steps were taken to address concern about secure access to wards following inspector feedback. These improvements have been fully implemented.

Steve McManus, Chief Executive at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust said, ‘I am delighted to receive this report, and I would like to say a huge thank you to all our staff, colleagues and partner organisations such as Royal Berkshire MNVP, who helped achieve this rating. It is a positive reflection of the trust’s maternity services, providing assurance to women and families in the area who are planning or due to have a baby at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.’

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust maternity services were rated as ‘Good’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The inspection was part of the CQC national maternity services inspection programme which aims to provide an up to date view of the quality of the maternity care across England.

The report has been published on the CQC website.