Newham University Hospital’s maternity services upgraded following inspection

Newham University Hospital. Picture: Dave Mirzoeff

Newham University Hospital. Picture: Dave Mirzoeff - Credit: Archant

Maternity services at Newham University Hospital have been upgraded by inspectors just months after they were branded inadequate.

Care regulator CQC first visited the maternity unit as part of a hospital-wide inspection in September 2018 where it highlighted issues such as patient records not being completed and a lack of timely and effective pain relief for women.

Inspectors returned five months later and in a report, published today (Friday), revised the grading to ‘requires improvement’.

The hospital’s managing director, Tony Halton, said he was pleased with the improvement.

He said: “What it has shown is that we have made real progress in the last four to five months.

“The maternity team responded magnificently and turned things round in a very short time.”

The report also singled out director of midwifery Gloria Rowland, who spearheaded an improvement plan after the Glen Road, Plaistow hospital was issued with warning notices about safety in the department.

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She said: “We have given ownership of the change to the staff. We’re working closely with women and finding out what they want to improve the overall experience.”

Director of nursing Louise Crosby, who has helped to lead the improvements, also highlighted the recent awarding of the Unicef baby friendly stage two grade - which aims to ensure all staff are properly educated in supporting mums to feed their babies.

The unannounced inspection, which took place in January, focused on the issues identified in the warning notice.

These included the governance and systems used to assess, monitor and improve the quality of services, and providing safe care and treatment.

The report found that Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, “had reacted quickly to the warning notice within the timescale”.

Inspectors wrote: “Within a month they had drawn up an action plan and had put in place new systems to deal with the main concerns in safety and governance.

“Many senior staff were doing everything in their power to take the service forward. However, it was too early at this stage, to show the impact of improvements in every area.”

Inspectors recommended that the hospital should continue to monitor all areas of the action plan, even when apparently complete, to ensure new processes were fully embedded.