In response to a report that has been issued by the Care Quality Commission today, Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive at Liverpool Women's, said:
"I am fully confident that patients are safe in the care of Liverpool Women's. Our maternity staffing levels are better than average for maternity units across the UK (as evidenced by the National Audit Office report published at the end of 2013). The Trust has robust escalation processes in place and in any circumstance where senior clinical staff felt we were unable to provide safe care to women, the Trust would divert its maternity admissions to another Unit. The Trust last diverted admissions in Spring 2013. Diversion of patients is viewed as an appropriate action when Units are unable to safely care for patients due to occupancy, the acuity of patients or staffing levels. The Trust receives women diverted from other maternity services across Cheshire & Merseyside who have experienced the issues outlined above.
"Liverpool Women's has been actively campaigning to increase the national funding paid to providers of maternity services to enable the appropriate staffing levels to be maintained. To date, despite on-going negotiations with our Commissioners, the Trust has been unable to secure any additional funding to support improved staffing levels. The Board of Directors remain committed to ensuring safely staffed services and at their meeting on 4 July 2014, will consider further investment in midwifery staffing.
"The Trust is working to streamline and simplify our risk systems and processes, and to this end we have secured the input of a leading risk expert who is already working with clinicians and managers to achieve this and the Board of Directors has also commissioned a formal review of the Trust's overall governance arrangements in accordance with recently published best practice guidance.
"We are responding positively and proactively to the findings of the Care Quality Commission in the interests of women, babies and their families."
To read the CQC report in full click here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/REP01
The Trust also issued a briefing to hospital staff on the matter, which you can download here: Staff Briefing - CQC Inspection Report and Warning Notice
You can read a statement from Monitor here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/liverpool-womens-nhs-foundation-trust-monitor-launches-investigation