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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said that maternity units in Barrow where a number of babies have died and Lancaster meet all the essential standards of quality and safety inspected, following a recent visit. The CQC carried out unannounced inspections at the Trust’s maternity units at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on 13 August 2012 and Furness General Hospital on 14 August 2012.
Sir David Henshaw, Chair, said: “As we have said before, we have badly let the public down in the past. Since then, staff across the Trust have been working hard to put this right and we are now seeing real evidence of change and improvement.
“I am delighted to have received the latest maternity reports from the CQC. I would like to offer a special thanks to our staff who have been on a difficult journey over the last two years but have continued to do what needed to be done to make things better. The findings are also testament of the hard work of local GPs, the public, Governors and stakeholders that continue to work in partnership with the Trust to ensure services remain safe and of a high quality.
“When I came to the Trust in February, I knew that it was essential that we concentrated on making services safe and raise the bar in terms of what is an acceptable level of quality. This is evident across all outcomes reviewed. However, we know there is a still a lot to do in terms of making sure these improvements are sustainable in the long term.”
The purpose of the inspections was to review actions taken to address issues previously identified and to check whether the Trust was now compliant and meeting the essential standards in these areas. As part of the inspections, the CQC also spoke with staff and women within the maternity units to gather their opinions.
Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public and our staff for their continued support in our maternity units. I genuinely believe that our midwives and doctors come to work to do a great job, day in, day out, and in the vast majority of cases, this is exactly what happens. They have risen to the challenge that the public and our regulators have rightly demanded of them - to consistently provide safe and high quality services.”
As part of their inspection, the CQC also spoke with local stakeholders, such as the local council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee who have a duty to look more closely into public services outside their own organisation which includes local NHS hospitals. They said they had not received any concerns from the public about the Royal Lancaster Infirmary or Furness General Hospital maternity units in recent months. They also told the CQC that they had regular meetings with senior staff from the Trust which kept them up to date with any changes in service provision.
Jackie Daniel, concluded: “It is essential that we gather information from many different sources to tell us how we are performing. This report comes a week after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) reported that following a recent inspection of our maternity services, they felt there were many improvements and developments to celebrate, most notably the change in culture, focus and effectiveness of supervisory activity.
“The NMC went on to summarise that they felt it is clear that throughout the Trust, change is focused on improving the patient experience and providing safe services.
“We will continue to work closely with the women and families who use our maternity services, staff, local GPs, commissioners, Governors and regulators to ensure that our future services remain safe, providing only the very best, sustainable, high quality care.”
The full CQC report should be available today from its website at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/.