Inspectors praise 'good' maternity services at Wigan Infirmary

Maternity services at Wigan Infirmary have been rated as “good” by inspectors, who found staff worked well together “for the benefit of women”.
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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the hospital as part of its national maternity services inspection programme, which looks at the quality of hospital maternity care.

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Rabina Tindale, chief nurse at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We welcomed this inspection and subsequent report as it was an opportunity to showcase the excellent work we do in maternity services; the support we provide to our patients and staff and the improvements we continue to make.

Rabina Tindale, chief nurse at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustRabina Tindale, chief nurse at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Rabina Tindale, chief nurse at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
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"It was also an opportunity to demonstrate how we gain feedback from our patients and staff, how we learn and continuously improve, provide safe, effective and caring treatment and support to our patients, their families or carers.”

Maternity services were given a rating of “good” overall, with the rating for being well-led also “good”.

The CQC did not look at how effective, caring and responsive the service was, so remains rated as good from its previous inspection.

They did consider how safe maternity services were and found that had changed from “good” to “requires improvement”, as staff were not always up-to-date with all elements of mandatory training.

The CQC inspector maternity services at Wigan InfirmaryThe CQC inspector maternity services at Wigan Infirmary
The CQC inspector maternity services at Wigan Infirmary
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Ms Tindale said: “We would like to reassure our patients and the public that the service was already on track with year five of the training programme set by the National Maternity Incentive Scheme, which will see 90 per cent of our staff trained by February 2024.”

She continued: “I am very proud of our maternity service and this overall rating of ‘good’ reflects the excellent services they provide. I am pleased the CQC has recognised that our staff work well together to care for our mothers and babies and that there is a leadership team that had the skills and abilities to manage the service well and they saw staff who were committed to improving services to ensure people received a high standard of care.”

The inspectors found leaders within maternity services monitored and managed safety and learned lessons, ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills.

They engaged well with women and the community, offering services unique to their local population, the report said.

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Staff felt “respected, supported and valued” and “were focused on the needs of women receiving care”.

The report said: “The service had enough staff to care for women and keep them safe. Staff worked well together and with other organisations for the benefit of women. Staff understood how to protect women from abuse, and managed safety well.

"The service controlled infection risk well and managed clinical waste well.

“Staff assessed risks to women, acted on them and kept good care records. Staff understood and followed medicine management processes and reported serious incidents when required.”

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Ms Tindale said: “It was particularly pleasing to see that the CQC had recognised that the maternity staff felt respected, supported and valued. The CQC also highlighted that the service promoted equality and diversity in daily work with an open positive, culture where women, their families and staff could raise concerns without fear.

"The team should all feel justifiably proud of their professionalism, care and compassion they demonstrate every day.”