CQC publishes its latest 'State of care' report

By Julie Griffiths on 11 October 2018 CQC - Care Quality Commission Maternity Services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its State of care 2017/18 report.

This year’s report finds that overall most people receive a good quality of care, but that their experiences are often determined by how well different parts of local systems work together.

State of care is the CQC’s annual assessment of health and social care in England. It looks at the trends, shares examples of good and outstanding care, and highlights where care needs to improve.

On maternity, the report says that nearly half of all maternity and gynaecology services, and over a third of maternity services inspected under their new methodology need to improve.
It also said that the 2017 maternity service survey, which looked at the experiences of women receiving maternity services in February 2017, showed small improvements across most questions. It said that this is a consistent upward trend since the results of the 2013 survey. 

Notable changes include improvements in women’s perceptions of being offered choices, and having the information to make choices, during their antenatal care, according to the report.
RCM head of health and social policy Sean O’Sullivan said that the improvements in care are welcome but concerns remain at the number of units that need to improve.
‘Despite the government’s welcome commitment to 3000 more midwives in England, maternity services remain under pressure with births becoming more complex,’ Sean said.
‘We also see systems in trusts that do not support midwives and their maternity colleagues being able to deliver the best possible care and this needs to change.

‘We need to see many more midwives in leadership positions within trusts so that they can have real influence over the care delivered. Ideally every trust should have a director for midwifery, particularly those offering maternity services across multiple sites.’ 
Sean added: ‘We are moving in the right direction and our maternity services are among the best in the world. But there is clearly more to be done to ensure that women receive care that is of the highest standard.’

The RCM recently published its annual State of maternity services report 2018, which can be read here.