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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

Meeting with our midwives and why transparency is so important

Well it has been another interesting week.

I have been away for a few days exploring new ventures for Liverpool Women’s Hospital.  Not only does this take the well-respected brand of our hospital into new areas, it also gives us the opportunity to earn additional income to reinvest into our services to benefit NHS patients.  It also means that more people get exposure to the excellent clinical outcomes achieved by our clinical teams.

It has been National Breast Feeding Awareness Week this week, well done to our infant feeding team you do a great job all year around and you organised a fantastic event 'The Feed Good Factor' on Wednesday which was really informative and well attended. I hope those of you reading this who are avid Twitter users enjoyed the interactive breastfeeding question and answer session we ran on Twitter earlier today. If there’s any other topics you'd like us to cover in this way then please feel free to tweet us @LiverpoolWomens.

I have again visited our main maternity ward this week.  Our staff do an incredible job on a very busy ward. Our staff feel that more staff rotation between different areas of maternity services will improve communication and understanding of different challenges in the various clinical settings and we will ask our senior midwifery leaders to look into this.  We have a dedicated midwifery led unit at Liverpool Women’s for low risk births, the MLU.  They are such a motivated team and it is always a real pleasure to spend time with them.  Again the benefits of staff rotation were raised by the staff on this unit. The staff on MLU have been busy fundraising to improve facilities on the unit for women.  If you can help or have any ideas I am sure they would love to hear from you, send an email to .  On the MLU I spoke to one of our ward clerks who has worked in the NHS over 40 years – wow, what a fantastic example!!!!!

At Liverpool Women's Hospital we get an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from our patients, however, we don't get it right every time. I have been at my desk since 7am this morning listening to a CD recording of a meeting with a couple who did not have a positive experience in our care. The recording is of a meeting that they had with one of our Consultants, a Matron and our Patient Experience Lead during which they outlined their experience.  I am meeting with this couple on Monday.  Sorry seems to be such an inadequate word at times.

Last week the Chair and CEO of the Care Quality Commission reported that they had found signs of a past internal cover up. Right now it is important for all of us who work in the NHS to remind ourselves of what matters most, keeping patients safe.  In the health service, we have humans doing complex things to other humans. With so many risk factors, mistakes do get made; some are immediately obvious, others are not. Above everything else, if we get it wrong, we must be open and transparent. 

Have a good weekend.

28 June 2013