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Maternity services at Glangwili Hospital significantly improved since last inspection

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has issued a report (2 March 2023) evidencing improved care within the Maternity Unit at Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen.

Glangwili General Hospital

HIW completed an unannounced, onsite inspection of the maternity unit across three consecutive days in November 2022, this included the antenatal and postnatal wards, the midwifery led unit, the labour ward and the triage assessment area. Inspectors found the maternity care provided had improved since HIW’s previous inspection in 2019, but there were still some areas which required attention.

We found staff were committed to providing a high standard of care to patients. There were many examples where the inspection team witnessed staff being compassionate, kind and friendly to patients and their families. Most patients we spoke to told us they were happy and receiving good care at the hospital. Inspectors also noted that there were good arrangements in place to provide patients and families with bereavement support.

Staff were encouraged and supported to become involved in quality improvement projects to enhance the care provided, and to aid their ongoing development. Staff were positive about the support and leadership they received and described a positive culture around reporting and learning from incidents. Inspectors noted that the leadership team were visible, supportive, and very engaged with the staff. Improvement had also been made to collaborate with other health boards effectively.

Some women on the post-natal ward indicated that when they required pain relief, it was not always given in a timely manner, or they were not given an explanation as to why they could not receive the medication. The health board must ensure that there is efficient, safe, and timely administration of pain relief for patients.

Inspectors evidenced improvements had been made regarding security measures to ensure babies were safe and fully protected within the hospital. However, on the first night of the inspection, inspectors noted that the cupboards containing patient records were unlocked and the doors were open. Inspectors immediately raised this with senior management and the cupboard doors were subsequently locked. Management must ensure staff are locking medication fridges and cupboards containing patient records when not in use. We also found that not all staff were compliant with mandatory training and that management needed to ensure rotas are reviewed to ensure there is sufficient resourcing.

Some staff we spoke with raised a concern in relation to the variance of responsiveness of consultants to an emergency when requested by junior doctors and midwives. This was also echoed by comments made in the staff survey we undertook.

We found that there had been significant improvements made since our last inspection in 2019. There were well-defined systems and processes in place to ensure that the hospital focussed on continuously improving its services. This was achieved through a rolling programme of audit and its established governance structure, which enabled key/nominated members of staff to meet regularly to discuss clinical outcomes associated with the delivery of patient care.

Ongoing improvements need to focus on staff compliance with the clinical room processes, such as medication fridges being consistently locked when not in use and cupboards containing patient records being always locked.

A plan has been produced by Hywel Dda University 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 significant changes and improvements had been made since our previous inspection. 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 timely progress against our findings.’

November 2022 – Hospital Inspection Report: Maternity Services – Glangwili General Hospital, Carmarthen

November 2022 – Inspection Summary Report – Glangwili General Hospital, Carmarthen