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1 March 2016, 13:55
The maternity unit at QE Gateshead has been rated among the very best in the country by the official healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission.
The team at the unit were described as "a highly committed, enthusiastic team, each sharing a passion and responsibility for delivering a high-quality service" by government inspectors.
The CQC gave maternity services at Gateshead an 'outstanding' rating - the highest possible mark - based on a detailed hospital inspection and feedback from local people. It confirmed that the QE provided safe and effective care in accordance with national guidance and that staff continually monitored outcomes for women and took action where improvements were necessary.
The unit in Gateshead sees around 1,800 births each year while the community midwifery teams provide care for more than 2,350 women. The maternity unit has a number of key features to help new parents including:
" A dedicated unit separate from the main hospital.
" Free parking for maternity.
" Dads or birth partners can stay overnight (where capacity allows).
" Personalised levels of care provided by a partnership of midwives and obstetricians.
" A Family play room for visitors and siblings.
" A special care baby unit for premature babies or those who need additional care.
The CQC highlighted the QE's equipment, staffing, governance and management while confirming that midwifery and obstetric staff had the correct skills, knowledge and experience to do their job.
The CQC report said:
"In the maternity unit, overall the care was rated as Outstanding. A survey of families whose babies received treatment in the unit showed all parent's found staff were friendly and approachable. They felt they were involved in decisions about their baby's care, had someone to talk to about their worries and fears and had their baby's treatment explained to them in way they understood.
Overwhelmingly we received feedback that care was excellent and compassionate. Women reported being treated with respect and dignity and having their privacy respected at all times. Women told us that nothing was too much trouble for staff.
Staff were highly motivated and passionate about giving exceptionally high standards of care. The service took account of complaints and concerns and took action to improve the quality of care.
A highly committed, enthusiastic team, each sharing a passion and responsibility for delivering a high-quality service……engagement with patients and staff was strong. There was evidence of innovation and a proactive approach to managing performance improvement.