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Healthcare Commission review of maternity services

28 January 2008

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has responded to the performance of the Trust in the Healthcare Commission’s review of maternity services—published on 25 January 2008.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has responded to the performance of the Trust in the Healthcare Commission’s review of maternity services—published on 25 January 2008.

We hope that the information below will help answer any questions or concerns that women may have about maternity services at Chelsea and Westminster.

If you would like to speak to a member of our maternity team, please speak to your midwife or any other member of staff who will be happy to assist you. If they cannot answer your question, they will ensure that a senior member of staff responds appropriately.

We are disappointed to have received a rating of ‘Least well performing’ in the Healthcare Commission’s review of maternity services.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Maternity Unit is increasingly popular with women—more than 4,600 women chose to give birth here last year.

The vast majority of women who took part in the Healthcare Commission’s survey of new mothers, which forms part of the overall review of maternity services, reported a positive experience of maternity services at Chelsea and Westminster—90% rated the care they received as ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

We provide a safe maternity service with high standards of cleanliness—our rates of hospital acquired infections are almost half the national average and we are in the top 5 NHS trusts nationally for improved mortality rates.

According to CEMACH (Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health), in 2006 Kensington and Chelsea – the London borough served by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Maternity Unit—had the lowest infant mortality rate in the capital.

The survey of new mothers in the Healthcare Commission’s review was carried out almost a year ago and we are confident that women who have their babies at Chelsea and Westminster now can expect to have a better experience, because of improvements made over the past 12 months including:

  • The maternity budget and the number of midwives employed have increased to reflect the increasing number of women who choose to give birth at Chelsea and Westminster.
  • A Postnatal Working Group including women who use our services and members of our Maternity Services Liaison Committee (the patient forum for our maternity services) was set up in February 2007 to tackle concerns.
  • Improvements to postnatal care include the introduction of breastfeeding volunteers to help new mothers, a specially designed area where women wait in comfort before going home, and an information pack for new mothers.
  • Cleaning has been improved to include more frequent monitoring and the use of simple but effective methods such as disposable wipes for toilet seats.

We remain committed to listening to the views of women who use our maternity services and improving further the quality of our maternity services.

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