Praise for Maternity Services at Arrowe Park and Seacombe Birth Centre

Doctors, nurses, midwives and support staff in Maternity Services at Arrowe Park and Seacombe Birth Centre received a boost today as their care was praised and rated as good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Some areas of the service were described as ‘outstanding.’ Staff were delighted to see their hard work and above all, their dedication to patients, babies, women and birthing people, recognised in the CQC inspection report.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of Maternity Services at Wirral University Teaching Hospital Trust rated the services as ‘Good’ for safe care and ‘Good’ for well-led services, with areas of outstanding practice being reported in the Trust’s joint work with Wirral Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership.

CQC had previously rated Maternity Services as good overall and this latest inspection demonstrates the huge strides in maintaining this rating, and further improvements in safety made by the Trust.

Last year, the Trust had a total of 2972 births, of which 15 were in the Seacombe Birth Centre and 77 were home births. The planned visit by inspectors was carried out on 24 and 25 April 2023 and the inspection focussed on the safe and well-led key questions of their inspection regime.

Jo Lavery, Divisional Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Wirral University Teaching Hospital

Janelle Holmes CEO at the Trust said, “This is a fantastic achievement and great news for patients and staff. Our Trust plays such a big role locally and has a special place in people’s hearts as so many Wirral people were born here or have had their own children in Arrowe Park and Seacombe.

“We are so pleased that this inspection report reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff to making the experience of all our patients personalised and individual.”

Among the many positive findings in the report, the CQC noted that:

  • Staff are competent and feel valued and supported.
  • There is clear and visible leadership, including Maternity Champions at Board level.
  • The service has a positive culture, with openness, honesty and strong commitment to safety.
  • The Leadership Team have the skills and abilities to manage the service well.
  • There is a positive culture within the service where people, their families and staff felt they could raise concerns.
  • Staff are committed to improving services to ensure people receive a high standard of care.
  • Engagement and involvement with women, families, and birthing people was strong – especially the partnership working with Wirral Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership, which was rated as outstanding.
  • Care is individualised, compassionate and personalised.
  • The team had a commitment to training and research.
  • The service is committed to improvement, innovation and continued learning.
  • The Trust was the only service within the local maternity services network to offer 4 birth choices to women and birthing people.

Victoria Walsh of Wirral Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership commented, “We are really pleased and proud that our partnership with the Trust was singled out as outstanding by the CQC. Working together with the teams, we are committed to making maternity and neonatal experiences better. 

“It’s a true partnership. We feel that the Trust listens to the experiences of women and birthing people in order to deliver safe, high-quality care and to carry on making improvements.”

Kerry Roberts (pictured above), who lives in Wallasey and is pregnant with her third child, said, “I’m really happy that the work of the staff has been recognised and they work so hard to make sure it’s a high standard of care. Both of my babies were born at Arrowe Park and both times the staff were amazing. The staff were wonderful and very supportive. This time around with my third baby I’ve had continuity of care and I love it. I have the same midwife every time I go to my appointment, which is lovely.”

Cilla Padi (pictured, main image), whose baby Marcel was born recently at Arrowe Park Hospital, added, “I would love to share my incredible experience delivering my baby at Arrowe Park Hospital. From the moment I walked through the doors, I felt I was in a supportive environment and that truly put me at ease. The exceptional care and attention I received from the maternity team were beyond my expectations.

“Their expertise, compassion, and dedication made me feel safe and empowered throughout my journey to motherhood. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone at Arrowe Park Hospital for making my birthing experience truly unforgettable.”

The CQC inspected the Maternity Services at Arrowe Park Hospital and Seacombe Birth Centre as part of its national maternity inspection programme. The programme aims to give an up-to-date view of hospital maternity care across the country and help CQC understand what is working well to support learning and improvement at a local and national level. The CQC will publish a report of their overall findings when they have completed the national inspection programme.

Main image: Cilla Padi whose baby Marcel was born recently at Arrowe Park Hospital

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