Chelsea and Westminster Maternity Services Rated 'Good'

Inspectors find examples of outstanding practice at the hospital

The maternity services team celebrates its rating award The maternity services team celebrates its rating award


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May 29, 2023

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has confirmed the ‘Good’ rating for maternity services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital while finding aspects of the unit were outstanding.

This is the same rating as received at the time of the last inspection received in 2019. The Trust’s other maternity unit at West Middlesex University Hospital retained its ‘Outstanding’ rating.

The CQC found that the provision of obstetric-led urgent ultrasound clinics within the maternity triage setting enabled women and birthing people timely access to scans was an example of outstanding practice at Chelsea and Westminster. The clinic provided a ‘one stop shop’, with continuity of carer where results of scans were discussed, and care planning was completed straight away.

The inspection was carried out as part of CQC's national maternity inspection programme, which is designed to provide an up-to-date view of the quality of hospital maternity care across the country. During this time, inspectors looked at ‘well-led’ and ‘safe’ domains.

The CQC found that the hospitals’ maternity services had a strong focus on reducing workforce inequalities and inequalities experienced by women using the service. Part of this work included developing 12 staff as maternity cultural safety champions who address inequalities and improve equity for staff and people using services with protected characteristics. The champions delivered cultural safety training as part of yearly mandatory training.

Maternity services had also improved the way they worked with local communities. For example, the maternity voices partnership co-produced a ‘Muslim Mums’ memo card with local Muslim women.

The services were awarded the National Positive Practice in Mental Health winner for 2022 in perinatal and maternal mental health for the Maternal Trauma and Loss Care service, which offers joined up psychological specialist support with maternity services to treat and prevent trauma associated with childbirth. In addition they were shortlisted for work in continuing to adapt and improve services in the ‘excellence during a global pandemic’ award, including use of private ambulance services to secure the homebirth service, swift adaptation of services using technology and redeployment, and developing an antenatal vaccination centre.

The services were found to have strong focus on staff wellbeing and use a number of initiatives to maintain and improve this, including staff recognition schemes, award nomination, career clinics and emotional wellbeing support.

The reports also identified some areas for improvement at both sites that were shared by the CQC inspectors at the time of the inspection. These recommendations have been reviewed and many were actioned with immediate effect.

Robert Bleasdale, Chief Nursing Officer, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said, "I’m pleased that the CQC has confirmed that pregnant women, people and babies are receiving ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ maternity care from our services.

“The inspectors recognised our strong focus on reducing inequalities, how we support families with trauma and loss, our maternity facilities, and that our outcomes are consistent. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our colleagues.

“We are already acting on recommendations from these reports to make sure we deliver the safest and most personalised, high quality maternity care now and in the future.”

Vicki Cochrane MBE, Director of Midwifery at the Trust, said, “I’m very proud of our team of passionate and dedicated midwives, nurses, doctors and support staff who strive to deliver the safest and most personalised outcomes for the pregnant women and people in our care. I’m particularly pleased that the inspectors recognised the tremendous work of our maternity cultural safety champions, who work tirelessly to reduce inequalities in our services.

“While the CQC has recognised the many things we do well, we will continue to work hard to make improvements to ensure that everyone receives the highest quality of safe and personalised care.”

The hospital also got a positive report from former patient and singer-songwriter, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who was visiting as part of its 30th birthday celebrations. She said, “A huge thank you to all the staff at Chelsea and Westminster. I have had 5 babies at the hospital and everyone we encountered was so amazing. Happy birthday!”

You can read the maternity reports on the CQC website:

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital - Care Quality Commission

West Middlesex University Hospital - Care Quality Commission

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