CQC briefing: Getting safer faster: key areas for improvement in maternity services

Care Quality Commission | March 2020 | Getting safer faster: key areas for improvement in maternity services

In 2017, CQC reported on the findings of our first round of comprehensive inspections of all NHS acute hospital services in England. The CQC’s report highlighted concerns about the safety of maternity services, with half of all maternity services rated as requires improvement or inadequate for the key question ‘are maternity services safe?’.


Their current NHS maternity service ratings show some improvement since the CQC’s first round of comprehensive inspections, and the number of services rated inadequate for safety has reduced considerably. While almost 61% of maternity services are rated good for safety and 1% are outstanding, just under 38% are still rated requires improvement for safety. For these services, improvements focused on developing their safety culture are required to narrow the variation that still exists and ensure that all women have access to high-quality maternity care.

The full briefing is available from the  CQC


CQC report: Maternity services survey 2019

Care Quality Commission, Office for National Statistics & NHS | January 2020 | Maternity services survey 2019

The Care Quality Commission (CQC),  Office for National Statistics & NHS has published its patient survey programme of maternity services for 2019. 


Key Findings for England

  • The report shows that overall, women reported many positive experiences of maternity care in 2019
  • There has been important improvement across a greater number of questions compared to 2018 and positive upward trends are evident over time in areas such as feeding choices and partner involvement
  • The most positive results this year relate to women’s experience interacting and communicating with staff in maternity services, particularly during labour and birth
  • However, in line with previous years, results still indicate poorer experience of care for many women postnatally compared to antenatal care and care during labour and birth
  • Results also show that outside the labour ward or birthing centre, a significant proportion of women felt they did not have access to the support that they needed and that the quality of information provided about mental health could be improved

Maternity survey 2019: Statistical release

Maternity survey 2019: Quality and methodology report

2018 Urgent And Emergency Care Survey Statistical Release

This survey looked at people’s experiences of using Type 1 (major A&E) and Type 3 (urgent care centres, minor injury units, urgent treatment centres) urgent and emergency care services, from decision to attend to leaving | Care quality Commission

132 trusts took part in the survey, of which 63 trusts had both a Type 1 and a Type 3 department, and 69 trusts had only a Type 1 A&E. The survey only includes Type 3 departments that are run directly by acute trusts, and not those run in collaboration with, or exclusively by others.

Key findings for England

The majority of people were positive about most aspects of the urgent or emergency care they received. Results across both type 1 and type 3 services have remained generally stable and have not significantly changed between 2016 and 2018.


Respondents in both the type 1 and type 3 surveys were very positive when answering questions about their interactions with staff. For example, the majority of respondents ‘definitely’ felt listened to, ‘definitely’ had confidence and trust in the staff examining and treating them and felt they were treated with respect and dignity ‘all of the time’. Staff are also generally providing clear explanations to most people about their treatment.

The survey results suggest there is scope for improvement in a number of areas across both service types, including:

  • waiting times
  • help from staff to control their pain
  • information provision when leaving A&E or the urgent care centre

Certain groups of patients consistently reported poorer experiences of urgent and emergency care services, including:

  • younger type 1 respondents (aged 16 to 35)
  • type 1 respondents who said that they had been to the same A&E about the same condition or something related to it within the past week
  • for both type 1 and type 3 respondents, people whose visit to A&E or the urgent care centre lasts for more than four hours

Further detail at Care Quality Commission

Full report: Urgent and emergency care survey 2018: Statistical release

The State of the adult social care sector and workforce

Skills for Care Workforce Intelligence | October 2019 | The State of the adult social care sector and workforce

Skills for Care Workforce Intelligence have published a new report, the report looks at the adult social care sector and workforce in England. The State of the adult social care sets out the CQC’s assessment of the state of care in England in 2018/19. Using data from CQC inspections and ratings, to inform judgements of the quality of care. 

The report indicates that quality ratings have been maintained overall but people’s experience of care is determined by whether they can access good care when they need it.


Image source: skillsforcare.org.uk

The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England

Download a copy of the report 

See also: CQC: State of Care

CQC: State of Care

Care Quality Commission | October 2019 | State of Care

State of Care is the CQC annual assessment of health care and social care in England.

The report looks at the trends, shares examples of good and outstanding care, and highlights where care needs to improve.



Image source:


State of Care 2018/19: Full report

State of Care 2018/19: Summary

State of Care 2018/19: Easy read

There is also an audio summary of the report available from the CQC

See also:

CQC blog 
The State of the adult social care sector and workforce

Workforce Race Equality Standard 2018/19

Care Quality Commission | August 2019 | Workforce Race Equality Standard

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its annual report -Workforce Race Equality Standard 2018/19 (WRES) on the experiences of BME staff to ensure equal access to career opportunities and fair treatment in the workplace.

According to the CQC, this year’s data shows progress in Indicators 2, 3 and 4:

  • the likelihood of white staff being appointed from shortlisting is the same as for BME staff
  • the data tells us there is no difference in the likelihood of a BME colleague entering a formal disciplinary process compared to a white colleague
  • this year’s data shows that there is no difference in the relative likelihood of white staff accessing non-mandatory learning compared to BME staff

The CQC still has lots of work to do in other areas such as ensuring BME representation at senior levels and reducing the gap in bullying and harassment. The CQC will be developing a robust action plan with the Race Equality Network and other colleagues to raise and accelerate our ambition in achieving a fair and inclusive workplace (Source: CQC).

Care Quality Commission Workforce Race Equality Standard 2018/19


Smiling matters: oral health care in care homes

Care Quality Commission | June 2019 | Smiling matters: oral health care in care homes

Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its review of oral health care in care homes across England. The review also includes a number of case studies .Their findings show that too many people living in care homes are not being supported to maintain and improve their oral health. 

Image source: cqc.org.uk

What CQC did

Dental professionals accompanied our adult social care inspectors on 100 routine inspections. Three years on from the publication of the NICE guideline
(NG48), oral health in care homes is still not a priority and people are not always able to access the dental care they need.

Seventeen per cent of care homes said they never assessed people’s oral health on

What CQC found

Among the homes visited:

  • most had no policy to promote and protect people’s oral health (52%)
  • nearly half were not training staff to support daily oral healthcare (47%)
  • 73% of care plans reviewed only partly covered or did not cover oral health
  • it could be difficult for residents to access dental care
  • 10% of homes had no way to access emergency dental treatment for residents

CQC recommend

A cross-sector approach including:

  • sharing best practice
  • repeating and reinforcing the guidance
  • mandatory staff training
  • oral health check-ups for all residents moving into a care home
  • a multi-agency group to raise awareness