Our initial response to the CQC inspection report for
maternity services at County Durham and Darlington
NHS Foundation Trust.
In March 2023, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
maternity departments were visited by the CQC (Care Quality
Commission), who carried out an unannounced focused inspection at
both University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial
Hospital, as part of the national maternity inspection programme.
The inspection was to look at how safe and well-led maternity
Following the inspection, the CQC published a report on
Friday 15 September 2023. Our maternity services both at University
Hospital of North Durham and at Darlington Memorial Hospital have
been rated as 'Inadequate'.
In their report, the CQC inspection team acknowledged the
unprecedented impacts caused by the pandemic as well as the
national shortage of staff as key underlying reasons for the
rating. They also praised staff for their commitment and dedication
to patient care in such adversity.
As well as revising the rating, the CQC issued a Section 29A
Warning Notification against the Trust informing it that these
services need to be improved.
The Trust has accepted the report and its findings and says
significant improvements have already been made since the
inspection in March.
Hear from our Chief Executive Sue Jacques responding to
the CQC inspection report on maternity services in this short
Providing safe, compassionate and joined-up care for our
patients is our priority and the CQC recognised some areas of good
practice. This included the compassion, kindness and courage
demonstrated by staff.
Within the report the Trust was provided with a series of
improvement actions. The teams have been taking immediate action to
make significant improvements to the quality and safety of care
These have included:
We remain committed to giving both those using our maternity
service and the CQC confidence in the quality and safety of our
Hear from our Head of Midwifery Joanne Crawford
responding to the CQC inspection report on maternity services in
this short video.
If you are receiving maternity care at County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, or have done so in the past and
you are affected by anything you have read in the published report,
please get in touch with us via your midwife or our Patient
Experience Team by calling 0800 783 5774 or
and we will support you as much as we can.
You can also contact your local Maternity Voices Partnership
(MVP) if you would like to share details of your experience. Cathy
Harvey is the County Durham and Darlington MVP Chair: email@example.com
'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their
Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital