Leeds maternity services rated 'Good' at St James' Hospital and LGI with staff 'focused on needs of women'

Maternity services at both Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s University Hospital have been rated as good following inspections.
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The inspection of maternity services run by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust was carried out as part of the Care Quality Commission’s national maternity inspection programme. The programme aims to provide an up-to-date view of the quality of hospital maternity care and a better understanding of what is working well.

Following the inspection maternity services at both LGI and St James’s were rated as good overall, and for being safe and well-led.

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This is the first time maternity services at both hospitals have been rated as a standalone core service. Previously, maternity and gynaecology services were inspected and rated together.

Maternity services at Leeds General Infirmary have been rated as 'good'. (Photo by Jonathan Gawthorpe)Maternity services at Leeds General Infirmary have been rated as 'good'. (Photo by Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Maternity services at Leeds General Infirmary have been rated as 'good'. (Photo by Jonathan Gawthorpe)

The overall rating for Leeds General Infirmary remains rated as good and St James’s University Hospital remains rated as requires improvement. The rating for the trust remains rated as good.

Carolyn Jenkinson, CQC’s deputy director of secondary and specialist healthcare, said that inspectors “found a culture where leaders had the skills and abilities to run maternity services well, and staff were focused on the needs of women and people receiving care”.

She said: “It was reassuring to find both services had enough maternity staff with the right skills, training and experience to keep women and people using the service safe, provide the right care and treatment and protect them from abuse.

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“We also found some outstanding practice. The service worked well with diverse communities to find out perceptions of maternity care in order to provide advice which was accessible and inclusive to people.”

However, she said there was £a lack of oversight regarding how long women and people using the service were waiting for their phone calls to be answered” and that this meant leaders didn’t know how long people were waiting or how many had ended their call which could put them and their babies at risk, if they didn’t get the help and support they needed.

Ms Jenkinson said: “During the inspection, the trust informed us this was being improved to keep people safe.

“We will continue to monitor the service, including through future inspections, to ensure this good work remains embedded and women and people using the service, as well as their babies continue to receive a high standard of care.”

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Prof Phil Wood, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted that our maternity services have been rated ‘Good’ by the CQC. This is testament to the hard work of our teams at both sides of the city who are committed to providing the best possible care for our patients.

“This rating by the CQC gives confidence to patients and the public that the maternity services they can expect to receive here in Leeds are safe and well-led.

“It is great to see our teams recognised and in particular, the outstanding work we are doing here in Leeds to reduce health inequalities and improve maternity care for those in our local communities.

“Of course, there are areas for improvement and the report does highlight where further work is needed. These are all areas that our maternity team are aware of, and they are prioritising the work needed to make these improvements. We look forward to demonstrating further progress in future inspections.”