Maternity services at East Surrey Hospital downgraded by health regulators
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In a report just out, commission inspectors said there were also times when equipment checks were not complete, equipment and premises were not kept visibly clean, medicines were not always managed well, care records were not always completed and staff did not always follow infection control principles.
And, said the inspectors, appraisal rates were low for midwifery staff; junior doctors did not always complete appropriate safeguarding
training; leaders did not always implement improvements quickly enough once they had been identified and policies were not always in-date which ‘may have contributed to adverse incidents.’
The hospital’s maternity department cares for around 4,600 women a year.
A spokesperson for Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “Since the inspection we have put in place a robust action plan to tackle the issues raised by the CQC – including ensuring tougher infection control measures, more frequent cleanliness checks, and more thorough daily safety checks of medicines and specialist emergency care equipment.
“Earlier this year we launched a recruitment drive to improve staffing levels and since the inspection 13 new midwives have started in post, with a further five due to start in the coming weeks.
“While we are clear there is more work to do, delivering safe, quality care to our patients is our absolute priority and we would like to reassure families that we are taking immediate action to ensure our patients receive the high-quality care they rightly expect.”
Other actions the trust says it is taking include reviewing workforce plans in line with patient demand; improving discharge processes to reduce delays; putting plans in place to ensure clear processes for monitoring improvement areas; developing a digital maternity system to improve maternity records and enable effective audits and reviewing governance processes to ensure clearer oversight of services.
The ratings from the maternity services’ inspection did not change the rating of the hospital overall and the rating of the hospital stayed the same. East Surrey Hospital is rated ‘Outstanding.’