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Hospital’s maternity services rating upgraded following inspection

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Maternity services at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have been upgraded from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has revealed its findings in a report published today, following an inspection in October as part of its national maternity services inspection programme.Inspectors found that there had been a “significant improvement in the culture of the service” since the last assessment.

Ambulances outside the QEH at Kings Lynn.

“The service had an open culture where people could raise concerns without fear and be listened to,” they said.Staff also worked well together and focused on the needs of women, people using the service and their babies.Meanwhile, leaders and staff were “aware that health differences can affect the treatment and care provided, especially for those from ethnic minorities and less privileged groups”.The CQC’s national maternity services inspection 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 locally and nationally.Following this focused inspection, the maternity services rating at the QEH improved from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ overall.Esther Dorken, interim head of midwifery at the QEH, said: “We are absolutely delighted the CQC inspectors found such a significant change in the culture in our service and the positive changes that make such a difference to the compassionate care our patients receive at The QEH.“I am incredibly proud of the team here who have worked exceptionally hard to elevate standards.“We have already implemented changes to ensure areas where we performed less well attain the standards that staff and patients should expect without exception.”

Chief Nurse Pippa Street.

Chief nurse Pippa Street said: “We are very pleased to have received this recognition from the CQC demonstrating the improvements that have been made and we are encouraged to continue to further develop services so that people giving birth here get the exceptional care we strive to achieve.”Maternity patient Sophie Reeve was full of praise for the care she received as she welcomed the arrival of her latest child – leap year baby Donny Zipfell – who was born yesterday at the QEH at 9.43am weighing 7lb 4oz.

Leap year baby Donny Zipfell who was born at the QEH on 29 February 2024 at 9.43am weighing 7lb 4oz

Sophie, who lives near Thetford, said: “This is our fourth baby we’ve had at the QEH. The team have always been amazing and the midwives are very supportive and it was nice to have the same midwife throughout my pregnancy.“Our consultant and anaesthetist were also brilliant. The tea and toast after the birth was the best.”The CQC has also upgraded the QEH’s rating for being well-led from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.It has again been rated as ‘requires improvement’ for being safe. Effective, caring and responsive were not included in this inspection.The overall rating for the QEH remains as ‘requires improvement’. The overall rating for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust also remains ‘requires improvement’.

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