CQC report says staff shortages at Liverpool Women’s Hospital ‘increased risks’ to patients

Staff shortages at Liverpool Women’s Hospital “increased risks” to patients, a new report has found.

The NHS trust that runs Liverpool Women’s Hospital has been told it “requires improvement” following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in January though it was highly praised in some areas.

A CQC report, published on June 23, found service leadership and whether they were safe required improvements. All other areas were rated good.

The hospital is the largest women’s hospital in Europe and one of only two specialist trusts in the UK. It helps deliver around 8,000 babies and 10,000 gynaecological procedures every year.

Concerns were raised in the report that “not all staff felt respected, supported, and valued” and that when some staff raised concerns several times around safety and staffing, “they saw no quick action or improvement.”

The CQC also found the trust’s leadership team “did not always understand and manage the immediate priorities and issues the service faced” and did not always identify and escalate any risks to tackle them. Some women and birthing people also gave negative feedback about their experiences.

In its assessment of Liverpool Women’s Hospital, it was found not all staff had training in key skills or followed infection prevention advice. It was also found “frequent staff shortages increased risks to women and birthing people across the maternity service.”

The report added: “The service did not always have enough maternity staff to keep women safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care and treatment. Staffing levels did not always match the planned numbers.”

The trust was also criticised because “not all staff could find the data they needed, in easily accessible formats, to understand performance, make decisions and improvements.”

However it was praised for its vision and for having “an open culture where patients, their families and staff could raise concerns without fear.”

The report said staff at the women’s hospital “worked well together for the benefit of women and birthing people and understood how to protect women and birthing people from abuse” and leaders were “visible and approachable.”

It was also praised for its “innovative work regarding anti-racism” being in the top 10 nationally for its work in ensuring Black and minority ethnic staff have equal access to career opportunities and fair treatment in the workplace. It was also praised for its non-English speaking team.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Trust were approached for comment.


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