Maternity services in East Lancashire have been deemed to be ‘good’ according to the CQC.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published three reports following inspections of maternity care in November at Rossendale Primary Care Centre, Blackburn Birthing Centre and Burnley General Hospital, all operated by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

This was the first inspection of maternity services at Rossendale Primary Care Centre, and the service was rated good overall and for being safe and well-led.

Following this focused inspection, Blackburn Birthing Centre and maternity services at Burnley General Hospital remain rated good overall and for being safe and well-led. Both locations also remain rated good overall.

Chief Nurse at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Julie Molyneux, said: “I am so proud of everyone working in our maternity services. They are passionate about what they do and work so hard to provide safe, personal and effective care for families. That has been recognised by this inspection. 

Lancashire Telegraph: Rossendale Primary Health Care CentreRossendale Primary Health Care Centre (Image: Google)

“We are constantly making improvements based on feedback from families and local communities so we can provide the very best experience and support. 

“It is particularly pleasing to see some of those improvements being recognised in the inspection report. We will use the reports to build on what is working well and identify areas for improvement.” 

Overall, the inspectors found that in all three services, there were enough staff to care for women and keep them safe.

Staff had training in key skills and worked well together for the benefit of women, understood how to protect women from abuse, and managed safety well.

The report highlighted that the service-controlled infection risk well and staff assessed risks to women, acted on them and kept good care records.

Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of women receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities.

Lancashire Telegraph: Burnley General HospitalBurnley General Hospital (Image: Archive)

The service engaged well with women and the community to plan and manage services

Some practice was deemed to be outstanding, with inspectors noting that all midwives had safeguarding supervision annually in addition to safeguarding training.

This consisted of training and reflective practice based on local safeguarding issues and is above good practice standards.

Inspectors also noted that the service was focused on the ‘needs of local women and families’.

They had a midwife champion for equality and diversity who linked with local groups representing people from black and minority ethnic communities to ensure services met their needs and were recruiting another lead midwife.

However, at Rossendale Primary Care Centre and Blackburn Birthing Centre, not all staff completed level three safeguarding adults training and the birth centre did not have a local, specific vision or strategy supporting it to develop future birth centre services.

At Burnley General Hospital, inspectors noted that again, not all medical staff had completed level three safeguarding training.

Also, not all staff received an annual appraisal, with appraisal compliance rates low on the antenatal ward and central birth suite.

Staff in Burnley did not consistently complete checks of specialist equipment and there were some out-of-date and missing items on emergency trolleys, and staff did not always fully and accurately complete records of women’s medicines.

The overall rating for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust remains rated as good.

CQC head of hospital inspection, Karen Knapton said: “When we visited maternity services at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, we found all the services we visited were well-led and leaders had the skills and abilities to run them well.

“They understood and managed the priorities and issues they faced and were also visible and approachable for women and staff.”

Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen said: "Back in 2010 one of the very first campaigns that I worked on with the former Councillor Lynda Barnes was to retain maternity services in the Rossendale Valley.

"So I’m really pleased that the service at Rossendale Primary Care Centre have been rated as ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commissioner during their first inspection.

"The report found that the service is staffed by a great team who are working well together to support women and their families here in Rossendale and keep them safe.

"My huge thanks to everyone at Rossendale Primary Care Centre for the work they do and for achieving such a positive report."