Jessop Wing: Sheffield NHS maternity service improvements follow critical inspectors’ report

Maternity services in Sheffield have been undergoing major changes following a report by NHS inspectors a year ago that said they require improvement.
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The Care Quality Commission report made after an inspection last September said that services at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital Jessop Wing required improvement, an upgrade on a previous rating of inadequate in 2021.

Sheffield City Council’s health scrutiny sub-committee (September 7) heard from NHS bosses what improvements have been put in place.

These include better assessment and monitoring of patients and higher standards of staff training and leadership.

Jessop Wing, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Jessop Wing, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
Jessop Wing, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
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Jessop Wing midwifery director Laura Rumsey said the improvements have led to several highly-experienced staff opting to return to work in the service. In addition, 24 early career midwives start work in October and three internationally-educated midwives start over the next three months.

Five registered nurses have already begun masters-level courses to become registered midwife masters and a further 10 start the course next March. Ten maternity support workers graduate from apprenticeships in January.

More informal learning and safety updates take place, including safety huddles on wards and weekly messages to staff, said Ms Rumsey. One member of staff also runs regular ‘cake trolley’ sessions, offering refreshments to team members in return for them listening to short safety and training messages.

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Several new systems have been brought in to help staff better assess and monitor women and babies in their care, Ms Rumsey said. This has led to improvements in treatment and outcomes.

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One improvement is that 90 per cent of women are seen within 15 minutes or less after their arrival and women are risk assessed at least twice a day. That has led to a decrease in complaints, committee members were told.

Facilities in the Jessop Wing have already been upgraded and more work is taking place. Volunteers based in the reception area now direct new arrivals on where to go and signage has also been improved.

Coun Talib Hussain said that the Jessop Wing is now far more welcoming following the improvements to the building.

He asked what percentage of staff are from BME communities and how many are in senior leadership positions. Ms Rumsey did not know the overall percentage but said no staff from diverse backgrounds are in senior positions.

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She said: “It is something that we’re working towards very hard. We know that women want their communities representing and their voices heard.”

Quality director Angie Legge added that mentoring systems are in place so that senior staff can help people progress in their careers and become leaders.

Committee chair Coun Ruth Milsom welcomed the amount of work that has taken place over the past year to improve the service.