The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has highlighted continued concern about the variation in the quality and safety of England’s maternity services and a confidential enquiry into maternal deaths found that women from Black ethnic groups are four times more likely to die in pregnancy than women from White groups.
As of July 2021, 4% of maternity services were rated inadequate, 37% were rated requires improvement, 58% were rated as good and 1% were rated as outstanding for the key question: ‘are maternity services safe?’ This prompted the Care Quality Commission to publish a report, ‘Safety, Equity and Engagement in Maternity Services’.1
The CQC analysed some of the key issues persisting in maternity services and highlighted where action is still needed to support vital improvements. The report discussed the findings from a sample of nine focused maternity safety inspections carried out between March and June 2021, along with insight gathered from interviews and direct engagement with organisations representing women and their families, including equality campaign group ‘Five X More’2 and local ‘Maternity Voices Partnerships’.3
While recognising that many maternity units across the country are providing good care, the report revealed ongoing concerns about leadership and oversight of risk, team working and culture, and the extent to which services are engaging with and listening to the needs of their local population. It also pointed to the pressing need to address the inequalities in outcomes for Black and minority ethic women and babies, which have been further exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Log in or register FREE to read the rest
This story is Premium Content and is only available to registered users. Please log in at the top of the page to view the full text.
If you don't already have an account, please register with us completely free of charge.