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Maternity warning notice against Nottingham University Hospitals removed by healthcare watchdog





A warning notice against Nottingham University Hospitals for its maternity services has been lifted by the healthcare watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issues the notices when it identifies areas of concern that need significant improvements.

In 2022, the trust received a warning notice due to concerns with maternity staffing levels, triage waiting times and safe oversight of observations.

Queen's Medical Centre. Credit: LDRS
Queen's Medical Centre. Credit: LDRS

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust was already under a separate section 29A warning notice due to concerns about the trust’s leadership and governance.

Since 2020, the CQC has imposed conditions on the trust under Section 31 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

These conditions have now been lifted as “the CQC feels the trust has achieved compliance with these conditions based on the monthly updates”.

This means the organisation, responsible for running the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital, no longer has any warning notices or conditions on its licence from the CQC.

It comes after the commission lifted the rating of maternity to ‘requires improvement’ from ‘inadequate’ at both sites. The rating of ‘well led’ also moved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’.

The CQC said after the inspection it was “satisfied there have been improvements in the governance arrangements ensuring there is oversight of midwifery staffing and the training requirements of medical and midwifery staff”.

The removal of the notices was discussed by the trust board on March 14.

Director of Midwifery Sharon Wallis said it was “really good news” that the notices had been lifted.

Non-executive director Craig Wilcockson asked: “It’s really clear to see there’s lots of stuff going on.

“What’s the general climate in the unit from a staff perspective?”

Becky Gray, head of midwifery, said: “We are seeing an improving picture in terms of staff morale. We’ve had very early outputs of our staff survey which appear positive.

“We’ve had improvements in recruitment and retention. Our staff are choosing to stay with us.”

Mr Wilcockson said: “It sounds really positive but what are you most worried about?”

Director of Midwifery Sharon Wallis responded: “The ongoing review. Not the review itself per se, because we welcome that and anything we can do to improve [services].

“It’s the continued scrutiny on a service that actually the CQC has deemed as requires improvement which is a positive moving forward for us.

“I worry about the women that are in the service now.

“How do we get the balance for the women who are pregnant when they’ve seen a report which says there’s racism in maternity services?

“It’s those things which are very challenging for us. We have always got to keep an eye on our staff and make sure we are an employer of choice.

“It is that ongoing pressure and scrutiny that we have at Nottingham.”

Associate non-executive director Simon Gregory said: “It is no secret that we have had and continue to have issues in our maternity service.

“The leadership you are showing in difficult circumstances is very much valued.

“I know at times it must feel very lonely and hard.”



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