A surprise inspection visit to the maternity unit of a local hospital found ‘a dedicated team of staff, who were committed to providing a high standard of care’ but has said that mandatory training must be completed to reduce risks to newborns and parents.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) made an unannounced three day inspection of Bronglais Hospital’s maternity services in August 2023, focusing on antenatal, labour, and postnatal care.

The inspectors found ‘a dedicated team of staff, who were committed to providing a high standard of care to women, birthing people, and their families’.

“Inspectors witnessed staff at all levels working well as a team to provide a positive experience, that was individualised and focussed on the needs of the women and birthing people they were providing care for,” read the HIW report.

The maternity unit was praised for its ‘kind and respectful care’, positive culture, light and spacious birthing rooms, cleaning and security procedures.

However, inspectors noted that compliance with mandatory obstetric emergency training in some teams was low at 30 per cent.

HIW said that it required immediate assurance from the health board that this would be addressed without delay.

“The health board must ensure staff are completing this training to reduce risks to newborns, women and birthing people,” said the report.

They also called on the health board to review the on-call rota at the unit to ensure appropriately skilled staff were available onsite 24/7.

‘It is positive to see the dedication and commitment of staff in delivering a high-quality maternity service to women, birthing people, babies and their families,” said Healthcare Inspectorate Wales chief executive Alun Jones.

“Some improvements are required around mandatory staff training and resourcing which the health board must ensure are reviewed and actioned.

“We will be working with the health board to ensure these improvements are made and evidenced.”

Responding on behalf of the Bronglais unit, Kathryn Greaves, head of midwifery for the health board, said: “We are pleased that many positive outcomes were observed and noted by the HIW Inspectors. We also acknowledge the areas where improvements were required, and already have plans in place to address the report findings.

“As a team we look forward to working collaboratively with HIW to progress our improvement plan, which will focus on providing evidence of the training undertaken and a review of resources that have been put in place to support the recommendations of the report.

“The Maternity Services Team within the health board is dedicated to providing excellent standards of care for our families and communities. I’m delighted that the work of the team in Bronglais Hospital has been recognised so publicly.”