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Addenbrooke's and the Rosie Hospitals Good

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 6 September 2011
Date of Publication: 28 December 2011
Inspection Report published 28 December 2011 PDF | 54.03 KB

There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs (outcome 13)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by sufficient numbers of appropriate staff.

How this check was done

We reviewed all the information we hold about this provider and carried out a visit on 06/09/2011.

Our judgement

The trust has enough staff to ensure the safety and welfare of women using the maternity service. However staff do not always feel able to meet the needs of mothers and babies when staffing levels are low. To maintain compliance, action must be taken to secure consistent staffing levels.

User experience

Most of the women that we spoke with during our visit to the maternity unit felt that staffing levels were adequate. One person who had been an inpatient for longer than most commented that staffing levels, "Varied from shift to shift".

Other evidence

The hospital has a current ratio of one midwife to every 35 births which is a lower rate than in the previous two years. The trust have since informed us that the ratio is one midwife to every 33.6 births when they also account for bank staff. Senior staff told us that the birth rate remains static and we saw evidence that the monthly birth rates are monitored. Information we collected prior to the review about the number of midwifery posts that have been vacant for more then three months indicated this was worse than the national average. We were provided with vacancy numbers and this showed that approximately 2.5 full-time posts had remained vacant for more then three months. Senior staff told us that the retention of staff on the maternity unit was generally good but due to financial constraints within the trust they were unable to recruit into some vacant posts. In addition we were advised that the trust have a number of part-time staff in the maternity unit who choose to work extra shifts; this means that the hospital do not need to use agency staff who are less familiar with the hospital.

All of the midwives that we spoke with felt the clinical needs of women were being met but they often felt unable to meet the psychological and emotional needs of women when they were short of staff. The care assistants that we spoke with told us they did not always have enough staff to meet the needs of mothers and their babies in a timely way.

On the day of our visit, staff on the antenatal ward were coping with one less midwife on duty as a vacant shift had not been filled. All of the women that we spoke with felt that their needs were being met although during the afternoon, we saw two women ask for medicines that they had expected to receive earlier in the day.