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Hospital’s maternity service has improved, say inspectors

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 December 2017

Newham University Hospital

Newham University Hospital

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Maternity services at Newham University Hospital require improvement, the health watchdog has declared - but are no longer inadequate.

The findings have been released today (Weds) after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an unannounced inspection at the Glen Road, Plaistow hospital in July.

This focused on whether the hospital was safe for patients and well-led. Gynaecology services were not inspected.

The hospital’s managing director, Chris Pocklington, said that he was “incredibly proud” of staff in the maternity ward, saying that their “hard work and dedication to patients has made care safer for women and babies, and improved our rating”.

He added: “We know that there is considerably more work to be done to always provide women with the outstanding maternity care that we aspire to, but great strides have been made in a short space of time and we are determined to continue to improve.”

The CQC highlighted a number of improvements made since the previous inspection, including more visible leadership, an effective midwife training programme and support for trainee doctors.

It praised the introduction of an electronic baby tagging system although further work was required to ensure all visitors were monitored.

The report also emphasised areas that the trust must address, including taking steps to ensure sufficient numbers of appropriately skilled staff are available, that women receive timely treatment and that patient records are comprehensively and consistently completed.

Professor Ted Baker, England’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “There have been some improvements at Newham which I am pleased about, but there are still areas of its maternity services that can provide a better standard of care.

“I was particularly pleased to see improvements to security at the hospital. It was good that most staff commented there had been improvement since the last inspection with the leadership much more visible and visiting the units on a regular basis.”

The hospital, part of Barts Health NHS Trust, delivers around 6,300 babies a year to women living in Newham and neighbouring Barking and Dagenham.

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