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Evidence of improvement was found within maternity services at Prince Charles Hospital

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has issued a report (1 February 2023) highlighting improved care within the Maternity Unit at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

Prince Charles Hospital - Maternity Services

HIW completed an unannounced, onsite inspection of the maternity unit across three consecutive days in September 2022. Inspectors found the maternity care provided had improved since HIW’s previous visit in 2019, but there were still some areas which needed attention.

We found staff were committed to providing a high standard of care to patients. There were many examples where the inspection team noted staff treating patients and their loved ones in a compassionate, kind, and friendly manner. Most patients we spoke to told us they were happy and receiving good care at the hospital.

Inspectors recommended improvements were made to patient records to ensure they were comprehensive, bringing them into line with national guidance, as poor documentation can lead to increased levels of risk. Concerns were also raised about the staffing levels of the triage area, which compounded with the layout, made it difficult to ensure patients were not left unsupervised.

We did see improvement in the quality of management and leadership since the last inspection. However, feedback from staff highlighted concerns over staff culture with many negative comments received in the staff survey. The weight of negative sentiment in the survey results highlights the need for continued effort and action from the leadership team, to improve culture and morale within the service, so that the improvements achieved to date are maintained and built upon.

A plan has been produced by the health board which contains a comprehensive set of actions to support further improvement.

Chief Executive of HIW, Alun Jones said:

It was positive to see evidence that the health board has started to implement systems and processes to address areas of improvement identified during our previous inspection. There were well-defined systems and processes in place to ensure that the hospital focussed on continuously improving its services.

However, the staff feedback highlights the need for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to strengthen its efforts to engage with staff to address their concerns and improve the culture of the service.

The highlighted issues of concern must be addressed to ensure the quality of care provided continues to improve. We will continue to engage with the service to ensure progress against our findings.

Hospital Inspection: Maternity Services – Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil

Inspection Summary Report – Maternity Services, Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil