CQC report: Maternity at Romford’s Queen’s Hospital showing ‘significant improvement’

Queen's maternity department has shown vast improvements, according to CQC.

Queen's maternity department has shown vast improvements, according to CQC. - Credit: Archant

Women at Queen’s Hospital’s maternity unit were “unanimous” in their praise of the once-troubled department, according to a glowing inspection report published today by a health watchdog.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out two visits to the Romford hospital, on December 5 and 6, and found “significant improvement” at the department – once one of the worst in the country.

The hospital, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, met all three standards examined by inspectors, including care and welfare of people who use services; safety, availability and suitability of equipment; and staffing.

Inspectors looked at hospital records, observed how women were treated, and spoke to patients, family members and staff, during the unannounced visits to the department which has been under new management for the last 12 months.

“Queen’s Hospital has made a range of improvements and the care of women has improved,” the report said. “Women we spoke to were unanimous in saying that the care they had received was of a high standard.”

Director of nursing, Flo Panel-Coates, said: “I am absolutely delighted that CQC has recognised the enormous improvements we have made to our maternity services.

“But, more importantly, I am pleased that the feedback of women who are having their babies with us has been so positive.

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“We know that we are providing women with the high-quality one-to-one care they deserve. We are on a journey and remain focused on using every opportunity to improve services, including the opening of our new Queen’s Birth Centre.”

This latest report is a remarkable volte-face for the trust which was subject to both conditions to its license, the last of which were lifted in the summer, and a separate major investigation by CQC, in the past two years.

The full investigation, one of only two ever carried out by the regulator, followed “serious concerns about patient care” at the trust, where maternal deaths were once three times the national average.

Matthew Trainer, deputy director of CQC in London, said: “The significant improvement we have seen in maternity in the last year - both through our inspections, and through patient surveys which say 96 per cent of women giving birth there would now recommend it to family and friends - is a massive step forward.

“The staff in maternity have worked hard to transform the service.”