Local pregnant women and their families have access to the best maternity care in the country, following the Leighton Hospital-based service being named as “Midwifery Service of the Year.”
The Unit, managed by Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT), was named as the country’s best by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as part of their 2015 Annual Midwifery Awards.
Competing against hospitals from Hampshire and Basildon for the Mothercare-sponsored award, the accolade recognises excellence and innovation in the provision of maternity care and in the organisation of the service. It gives recognition to services which have demonstrated an exemplary forward-looking and innovative approach to the provision of maternity and how women are offered a number of different birthing choices. It also evidences a commitment to improved recruitment and retention of maternity staff as well as ensuring that they are appropriately supported and valued.
Speaking about being named as the winner, Tracy Bullock, MCHFT Chief Executive,said: “I am delighted and extremely proud of our maternity services and the team of highly-skilled professionals who provide such fantastic care to our local mums and their families.
“Despite being one of the smallest units in the North West, our maternity service has improved significantly over the past few years and this award puts us firmly up there amongst the best services in the country. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Maternity staff who made this possible, and also our local community for the great support that they have shown our service over the years.”
The RCM Award is the latest accolade received by the service, following a positive rating in the CQC National Patient Survey as well as being named as one of the safest units in the country by the NHS Litigation Authority through the achievement of the highest level of the CNST scheme and achieving Stage Two of UNICEF’s Baby Friendly initiative. The service was also rated as “Good” as part of MCHFT’s recent CQC Comprehensive Inspection.
The award win comes shortly after the Unit’s Supervisors of Midwives were shortlisted for another national award – the British Journal of Midwifery’s “Leadership in Midwifery” Award. The award recognises the work of midwifery leaders who show outstanding leadership skills, with those shortlisted being deemed to have a strong ability to nurture potential leaders while also maintaining high service standards.
Tracy added: “I wish our team of Supervisors all the best in their award. They work hard to support our Midwives and are available 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, to offer guidance and advice to our pregnant women to ensure that the care provided is of the highest possible standard.” The winners will be announced by the Journal on Monday, March 23, 2015.
The recently refurbished Maternity Unit at Leighton Hospital can provide care for all women, from low-risk births in the purpose-built Maternity-Led Unit, which offers birthing pools, ambient mood lighting, ensuite facilities and private courtyards, through to those who may require more attention in the traditional Labour Ward. A new high-dependency area is available for women who may require more intensive specialised care during labour, further increasing the safety of their care, whilst home births are also offered, all supported by a team of dedicated and highly qualified Midwives. Further information about the range of maternity options available from the service is available at www.mcht.nhs.uk/maternity
The winners of the RCM awards were announced at the Annual Midwifery Awards on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
The MCHFT Maternity Service won the Mothercare Award for “Midwifery Service of the Year”, having being shortlisted alongside Basildon Maternity (Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Further information on the awards can be found online at www.rcmawards.com.
Extract from RCM Award 2015 Booklet regarding MCHFT Maternity
“Over three years, the maternity service has improved beyond recognition with increased client and staff satisfaction. From low staff morale, poor client reviews and no waterbirths, the service now has 92% of women who say they are ‘extremely likely’ to recommend the unit and 87% of staff are proud to work there. At the new alongside midwifery-led unit, 30% of births are in water. A CQC survey of women’s experiences of maternity services 2013 places Leighton Hospital the fourth best maternity unit in the country.
“The judges said: ‘Management and leadership are visible and impressive. There is good relationship building with users and staff, GPs and commissioners. They’ve shown great courage in addressing difficult challenges head-on and have helped the staff to believe in themselves.’”
Links to press releases on MCHFT website:
- CQC National Patient Survey Results – link
- CNST Safety Rating – link
- UNICEF Baby Friendly – link
- CQC Comprehensive Inspection – link