RCM responds to CQC report on East Kent Maternity services  

By RCM responds to CQC report on East Kent Maternity services   on 28 May 2020 Midwives RCM Midwifery Women Maternity Services Pregnancy Leadership Safe high quality care CQC - Care Quality Commission RCM CEO Safety NHS Staff Staffing Levels Midwife Training Learning

Safety must be an absolute priority and combined with effective leadership be the basis for which all maternity care is delivered. That’s the message from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as it responds to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) latest report on maternity services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.


Commenting, RCM CEO Gill Walton said:

“The RCM is disappointed to read this report and see the same issues that were flagged in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists invited review in 2015 remain. There is an urgent need for actions to be completed so safety is not compromised and this needs to happen at Board level within the Trust. Safety must be the absolute priority and the basis on which all care is delivered and on which all decisions are made. Good leadership at every level of maternity services is key to delivering safe, high-quality care for women and their babies 

“Ensuring midwives and maternity support workers have adequate time off to attend all training is crucial if safety is to be improved. Training highlighting the need for escalation is not only important for junior midwives, but for all maternity staff. The lack of continuity in antenatal care is a clear safety risk. Ensuring safe staffing numbers are met will improve continuity of carer which in turn will improve continuity in antenatal care. Also, medical cover in triage and day assessment maternity areas will enable midwives to escalate high risk women quickly to medics.


“Encouraging maternity staff to report safety concerns or risks so that trends can be identified and rectified swiftly is necessary. The RCM works closely with its members and workplace representatives to ensure that midwives and maternity support workers who raise concerns are properly supported.”



To contact the RCM Media Relations Team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].


Notes to Editors

  1. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated maternity services provided by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust as Requires Improvement following an inspection. 

CQC inspectors visited the trust in January and February 2020 to check the quality of maternity services in both William Harvey Hospital and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital. Overall, maternity services across the trust remain rated as Requires Improvement. Services are rated Good for being effective, caring and responsive to people’s needs and Requires Improvement for being safe and well-led. 


The full report can we be viewed here https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications


  1. Strengthening midwifery leadership: an RCM manifesto for better maternity care https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/3527/strengthening-midwifery-leadership-a4-12pp_7-online-3.pdf


The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources www.rcm.org.uk