Kingston Hospital’s maternity service rated good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

19 December 2022

Kingston Hospital’s maternity service has been rated as ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as part of their national maternity inspection programme. The programme aims to provide an up-to-date view of the quality of hospital maternity care across the country, and a better understanding of what is working well to support learning and improvement at a local and national level.

You can read the full inspection report here on the CQC’s website.

Nic Kane, Chief Nurse for Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are proud to have retained our ‘good’ rating for Kingston’s maternity services. I am grateful to our staff who are totally committed to delivering a high standard of care to local women and their families, every day of the year.”

The CQC praised Kingston maternity services for an open culture and the fact that staff enjoy working at the Trust. Staff are also clear about their roles and accountabilities and the service engages well with women and the community to plan and manage services. The inspectors described staff who are focused on the needs of women receiving care and committed to continual improvement of services.

However, the report highlighted that during the visit the service did not always have enough staff to keep women safe. Midwifery staffing is a national issue and at Kingston the workforce in maternity is flexible and staff will move around to fill any gaps. Furthermore, the team has recently undertaken a recruitment drive and although our staffing position has improved since the inspection, we continue to focus our attention in this area.

At the time of their visit, the inspectors also observed that the security of the unit could be enhanced in order to reduce the risk of women and babies being unsafe. The Trust has since completed a thorough review of the security of the unit, which included undertaking an abduction exercise, and taking action to address all of the issues raised.

The team at Kingston has a rolling programme of audit and improvement in place to ensure that we continually improve and sustain the high standards of care that women are accustomed to at Kingston Hospital.

On the back of this inspection, in addition to being rated ‘good’ overall following the inspection, the CQC has confirmed that: “Kingston Hospital’s maternity service was rated ‘good’ for being well-led and ‘requires improvement’ for being safe. Ratings for Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, are unchanged by this inspection. It remains outstanding overall.”

Nic Kane, Chief Nurse adds: “All of our services have been under pressure for a prolonged period of time, and so this rating is a positive endorsement of the care we’re providing, and I am confident that team will continue to lead further improvements in the good service that we provide.”

Cathy Warwick, Board Maternity Safety Champion for Kingston Hospital said: “It is always very helpful to have an external review of our service and we welcome the CQC report.

“The fact that the service at Kingston was noted to be well led with a positive culture is excellent and I know that the maternity leadership team with the support of the Trust Board is taking immediate action to address all of the areas identified for improvement. I feel confident that women coming to Kingston can expect safe and compassionate care.”

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