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Local News

Sheffield hospital branded ‘inadequate’ with pregnant mums at risk


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The care of women and babies at Sheffield‘s Jessop Wing Hospital is “inadequate”, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said.

In a report, due to be published today (Wednesday, June 9), the CQC have presented their findings after an unannounced inspection of maternity services at the hospital this March.

Their inspection found that the safety and quality of care being given to women and babies is “inadequate” and puts patients at risk.

Findings from the report show that Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust did not have effective systems in place to ensure that staff had the skills, competence, knowledge and experience to safely care for women and their babies.

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The trust also did not have effective systems in place for “managing and responding to patient risk” to ensure that all mothers and babies at the unit are cared for in line with national guidance.

Other findings from the report show that:

  • Staff did not always complete and update risk assessments for each patient or take timely action to minimise and mitigate risks.
  • Patient safety incidents were not always managed well. There were delays in the investigation of incidents and lessons learned were not always shared with the wider team.
  • Records were held on multiple systems and staff had to access different systems to obtain a full overview of patients notes which could put patients at risk.

Service at the Jessop Wing was also rated inadequate for being safe and well-led, and requires improvement in terms of effectiveness.

Following the inspection, the hospital’s overall rating for maternity services dropped dramatically from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’ in a number of areas, with “urgent conditions” being imposed on the hospital trust to keep patients safe.

These conditions include a regular assessment of staffing levels and ensuring that staff are “suitably qualified”, alongside ensuring that risk management protocols are followed in line with national guidance.

Other urgent measures to be undertaken by the Trust include implementing correct processes for investigating serious incidents, improving infection prevention and control and ensure that all staff are “competent” for their roles.

Sarah Dronsfield, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “When we visited maternity services in the Jessop Wing at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, inspectors found a service that was not providing the standard of care women should be able to expect.

“Our findings were such that the ratings for maternity services across the trust have moved from outstanding to inadequate. Due to the concerns we found that needed addressing as a priority, we have imposed urgent conditions on the trust’s registration which require immediate action in order to make sure people receive the care they are entitled to.”

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However, the CQC inspection did also find some areas of good practice, along with a “culture where staff felt respected, valued and supported”.

Staff at the Jessop Wing were also found to be caring and focused on the needs of the women receiving care.

“Following the inspection, the trust has provided an action plan detailing what they are doing to reduce these risks and we have discussed the first stages of the improvements the trust has taken. We continue to monitor the trust extremely closely and expect them to continue to make rapid improvements,” Sarah Dronsfield said.

She added: “The trust leadership team know what they must do to improve patient safety and we will re-inspect to ensure this happens, taking further action if needed to protect patients.”

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Written by: Rother Radio News

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