Decision details


Decision Maker: Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Divisional Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Women’s and Childrens division, Wirral University Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) presented the report which provided an update and oversight of the quality and safety of maternity services at WUTH. The report provided a specific update regarding Year 5 of the Maternity Incentive Scheme (MIS). There was also an update on progress on the Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle. The report also highlighted the outcome of the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of the maternity services provided by WUTH.


Assurance was given that the three year delivery plan was on target to meet requirements.


It was noted that maternity was very much in the limelight due to Ockenden 1 and 2 following from the Shrewsbury and Telford enquiry.  It was stated that reports were consistently made to the Board of Directors and within the Trust full compliance on that was reviewed quarterly and all immediate actions were maintained to do that.


Members queried whether there were any areas for improvement and the CQC had identified three specific areas which were actioned whilst the CQC was either on site or within two weeks. These were around maternity triage and telephone services and baby abduction. There was an additional measure recommended to the full lockdown secure system which was added to some lockable doors and also a stable resus platform in the Seacombe Birth Centre.


Members queried the removal of the maternity shop from the precinct. It was explained that it had been difficult to meet the IPC infection control requirements. Alternative sites were being proactively sought across the Wirral and community hubs were being looked at. It was reported that a site had been secured in Birkenhead.


Members asked how many births had taken place in Seacombe Birthing Centre as opposed to home births. It was explained that the centre was pioneered in 2019 to deliver community home births of on average around a hundred per year within the team and 14-16 births were in the centre.


Members questioned how sure we could be that the neonatal services would remain on the Wirral. It was reported that neonatal services had been subject to an ongoing review by NHS England for at least five years and the outcome was still awaited.


Members queried recruitment and retention of midwives and it was reported that in 2021 there was funding for clinical recruitment and retention of midwives which included supporting newly qualified midwives to support retention. A six monthly report went to the Board and Members were reassured that the vacancy rate sat at 2 percent which had enabled WUTH to progress with continuity of care.


Members asked about the feedback mechanism and this was clarified as the national family and friends feed back tool, cards and user platforms which were taken very seriously and shared widely and goes to the Board. The CQC feedback had highlighted a couple of areas including knowing what a lady’s history was and the role out of continuity of care would support that. It was reported that negative feedback was very rarely received which was mainly around the post natal area and pain management.


Members were proud of the maternity services on Wirral and thanked WUTH.


Resolved – That the updates within the report and progress by Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) on the delivery of safe maternity services be noted.

Report author: Mike Jones

Publication date: 08/02/2024

Date of decision: 23/01/2024

Decided at meeting: 23/01/2024 - Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee

Accompanying Documents: