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Maternity services at our Trust rated ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’

24 May 2023

Following an inspection in February 2023, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the maternity service at West Middlesex University Hospital as ‘Outstanding’ and the maternity service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as ‘Good’.

CQC praises ‘maternity cultural safety champions’ and their commitment to reducing inequalities

Following an inspection in February 2023, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the maternity service at West Middlesex University Hospital as ‘Outstanding’ and the maternity service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as ‘Good’. This means that the overall CQC rating for both maternity services remains unchanged from the last inspection in 2019.

The inspection was carried out as part of CQC's national maternity inspection programme, which is designed to provide an up-to-date view of the quality of hospital maternity care across the country to support learning and improvement locally and nationally. During this time, inspectors looked at ‘well-led’ and ‘safe’ domains.

The CQC found the following areas of Outstanding practice across both the West Middlesex and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital maternity services:

  • Maternity services had a strong focus on reducing workforce inequalities and inequalities experienced by women and birthing people using the service. Part of this work included developing 12 staff as maternity cultural safety champions. The purpose of the cultural safety champions is to address inequalities and improve equity for staff and people using services with protected characteristics. The champions delivered cultural safety training as part of yearly mandatory training.
  • Maternity services had improved the way they worked with local communities. For example, the maternity voices partnership co-produced a ‘Muslim Mums’ memo card with local Muslim women.
  • The services were awarded the National Positive Practice in Mental Health winner for 2022 in perinatal and maternal mental health for the Maternal Trauma and Loss Care service, which offers joined up psychological specialist support with maternity services to treat and prevent trauma associated with childbirth.
  • The services were shortlisted for work in continuing to adapt and improve services in the ‘excellence during a global pandemic’ award, including use of private ambulance services to secure the homebirth service, swift adaptation of services using technology and redeployment, and developing an antenatal vaccination centre.
  • The services had a strong focus on staff wellbeing and use a number of initiatives to maintain and improve this, including staff recognition schemes, award nomination, career clinics and emotional wellbeing support.

In addition, the CQC found the following area of outstanding practice at Chelsea and Westminster:

  • Provision of obstetric-led urgent ultrasound clinics within the maternity triage setting enabled women and birthing people timely access to scans. The clinic provided a ‘one stop shop’, with continuity of carer where results of scans were discussed, and care planning was completed straight away.

The reports also identified some areas for improvement on each site that were shared by the CQC inspectors at the time of the inspection. These recommendations have been reviewed and many were actioned with immediate effect.

Robert Bleasdale, Chief Nursing Officer, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:

"I’m pleased that the CQC has confirmed that pregnant women, people and babies are receiving ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ maternity care from our services.

“The inspectors recognised our strong focus on reducing inequalities, how we support families with trauma and loss, our maternity facilities, and that our outcomes are consistent. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our colleagues.

“We are already acting on recommendations from these reports to make sure we deliver the safest and most personalised, high quality maternity care now and in the future.”

Vicki Cochrane MBE, Director of Midwifery at the Trust, said:

“I’m very proud of our team of passionate and dedicated midwives, nurses, doctors and support staff who strive to deliver the safest and most personalised outcomes for the pregnant women and people in our care. I’m particularly pleased that the inspectors recognised the tremendous work of our maternity cultural safety champions, who work tirelessly to reduce inequalities in our services.

“While the CQC has recognised the many things we do well, we will continue to work hard to make improvements to ensure that everyone receives the highest quality of safe and personalised care.”

ChelWest Hospital CQC maternity photo


Notes to editors 

  1. You can read the maternity reports on the CQC website:
    West Middlesex University Hospital - Care Quality Commission (
    Chelsea and Westminster Hospital - Care Quality Commission (

  2. As highlighted by the report, our trust has led on a number initiatives to reduce health inequalities for people in our care, and to tackle inequalities in the workplace. In January 2021 we created our ‘Maternity Cultural Safety Champions’ - a multidisciplinary team working across maternity services on both of our hospital sites. Since their introduction, they have led on the following projects:
  • Training: All maternity staff members go through a cultural safety training package during their mandatory training.
  • The website, handheld notes, information leaflets and electronic patient records have all been reviewed to ensure they are appropriate for all service users. Translations are available for the most common non-English languages.
  • We have seen a significant increase in both applications and appointments to bands 6, 7 and 8 for staff from the Global Majority. This has been helped by career clinics, interview preparation, decolonising of recruitment processes, and mentorship.
  • We have a calendar of events to celebrate with the workforce and have had very positive feedback on these events.
     3. The inspection reports will be published on CQC’s website on Wednesday 24 May 2023.
     4.Images can be credited to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.