Agenda item

Maternity services update and Clinical Service Review update including building works at Poole Hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospital

For the Committee to receive on update on the Clinical Service Review, including building works at Poole Hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospital, and the Maternity Service.


The Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer at UHD NHS FT and Head of Midwifery provided an update PowerPoint presentation which detailed the following:


·      Dorset Clinical Services Review (CSR) progress update on emergency and planned hospitals

·      The benefits of the CSR

·      Then and now update – planned openings in 2023

·      The end states of Poole Hospital and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital

·      UHD Maternity Department Update

·      Maternity measurements

·      National Policies

·      Maternity challenges

·      Single antenatal service to improve safety and avoid delays, especially when urgent care is needed.

·      Came together this month, at Poole, offering greater continuity of care for mums. Moving into new building in 2024.


The Committee discussed the update and comments were made, including:


·       In response to a query regarding national and local shortages of midwifes, the Committee was advised of the detailed work ongoing nationally and locally to promote recruitment and retention of all midwifes to help address this issue, which included an excellent support programme for newly qualified midwifes, legacy midwife roles to encourage senior midwifes to continue working in the profession and a dedicated midwife advocate

·       The Committee was advised that a review needed to be completed to identify adequate staffing levels, but there was currently an 18% vacancy rate, however it was noted that this did not consider the new starters who would be in position soon.  It was hoped that the service would recruit twelve internationally educated midwifes and six full time equivalent nurses to reduce that figure.  The support that would be provided to any internationally educated midwifes in terms of accommodation and peer support was detailed

·       A Committee member congratulated the service on the high level of breast feeding take up and the Baby Friendly Accreditation was detailed, including the high standards required to gain it and the challenges faced in doing so

·       The change of work location for some staff was discussed including the support which had been put in place to support them, including individual transport plans for the staff who were required to move their place of work.

·       In response to a query about how maternity services were currently, the Committee was advised that a lot of work had been undertaken to make the waiting area welcoming

·       The advantages of putting the two antenatal clinics together were highlighted including greater resilience and increased physical space, until the move to the permanent maternity unit in 2024.

·       The Committee was advised on the positives the final move would have including enabling post-natal mothers to have more space and to enable partners to stay overnight, which regrettably could not currently be offered

·       In response to a query regarding the theatres at Poole Hospital, the Committee was advised four theatres which would house the trauma service would open next April, with the next phase being completed by the end of 2024.  It was highlighted that staffing was an issue in this area and recruitment and retention were being focused on.  It was hoped the state-of-the-art theatres and support space for staff would be enticing when recruiting.

·       In response to a query regarding nurses studying and qualifying as midwifes, it was noted that retention rates after completing the 18 month course was very low which meant it was not supported by many trusts.  It was highlighted that there was a move towards recruiting nurses to undertake some of the roles within maternity units, which was proving successful and relieved some staffing pressures

·       In response to a query about ensuring the right capacity to support the residents of BCP when the remodelling was complete, the Committee was advised that the basic premise of separating emergency and elective care was the right decision.  In terms of capacity, it was noted they had worked on 88% occupancy in the remodelling and hospitals were currently running at 98%, which was far too high and the reasons for that and consequences were highlighted.

·       The changes to the food offer were highlighted which included a new kitchen facility and batch cooking to enable wider choice from a fresh frozen menu which should help reduce waste.


RESOLVED that the Committee note the update.