Statement response to the MEN story in relation to maternity services

Professor Matthew Makin - Medical Director
Statement response to the MEN story in relation to maternity services
23 November 2016

Professor Matthew Makin, Medical Director of The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“Following the initial feedback from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in late February, the new Salford Royal executive leadership team requested that the newly appointed divisional director for women and children’s services carry out an internal in-depth service review of our maternity services.  This review was part of a wider diagnostic review and more detailed look into the organisation, the culture, our staffing pressures and operational service delivery.

“Our new Trust Chief Executive and the senior team wanted to understand fully the issues and problems affecting services, and what urgent action needed to be taken to improve patient care and to make our more pressured services safer and more reliable. In addition to this internal management report written by the newly appointed director for women and children’s services in June, a further extensive review was carried out by midwifery colleagues from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust as part of their support and involvement in our improvement plan.  Both of these reports identified the same issues that were already raised by the CQC in its formal inspection report published in August.

“The findings and recommendations from these reviews have been integrated into the Trust’s comprehensive improvement plan which is discussed monthly at every public Board meeting.  Our Improvement Plan sets out specific areas across our maternity services that the Trust is now addressing through increased investment, improved staffing, focused training and the appointment of a new leadership team to drive up quality, safety and performance.

“To ensure the Trust can make real improvements, a small number of serious incidents which occurred over the last 12 months have also been referenced in internal reviews and used as part of our improvement plan for staff training and have been shared outside of the organisation. These cases were, like all reported incidents, investigated thoroughly at the time and the families have been contacted and met by the Trust’s Head of Midwifery to apologise for any failings in care and to discuss the changes that have been made.      

“The priority is for all of the Trust’s services to meet the high standards that patients expect and deserve. We are steadily making the necessary improvements so that patients can receive reliable, high quality care across all of our services. Recruitment of additional midwives and a focus on clinical leadership continues to be the Trust’s priority for maternity services.  In addition to the appointment of a new Head of Midwifery, 31 new midwives started in post across our two maternity units at North Manchester and Oldham last month. In addition to 58 new midwives joining us since April, the new management team is being supported by Central Manchester NHS FT who are providing supplementary clinical leadership support in order to stabilise and strengthen services on the North Manchester site.

“We have fully reviewed our risk and governance arrangements including learning from incidents and complaints, and are making progress in improving the way we listen and involve our staff to address the long standing problems and challenges facing our teams.”