After maternity services at Stevenage's Lister Hospital were rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), a list of improvements have been published by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. 

An inspection report published by the CQC in January raised concerns over safeguarding and standards of care at Lister's Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit.

Staff "did not always assess risks to women, act on them and keep good care records", "did not manage medicines well" and "equipment was not always well maintained", the report says.

The CQC served a warning notice, meaning the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, has a legal requirement to make improvements to avoid further enforcement action.


A spokesperson for the trust said: "The trust has focused improvement efforts on the three key areas highlighted within the report - equipment and estates, staffing and training, and systems and processes.

"Immediate improvements include the replacement of all delivery bed mattresses on the consultant-led unit, 10 additional CTG machines ordered and due for delivery in February, and four bathrooms across Gloucester and Dacre wards either updated or repaired."

The trust said a new security system has also been installed to inpatient areas "to better monitor and manage visitors accessing the maternity unit", and a traffic light prioritisation system for triage has been introduced.

Ward clerks have been appointed for Dacre and Gloucester wards, the trust said, and 17 new midwives have been recruited since the CQC inspection.


An "improved process and schedule for daily equipment checks in all areas" has also been implemented, the trust advised, as well as "an improved and standardised cleaning schedule put in place in all clinical areas".

Further improvements will be actioned in the next three months, the trust explained, including the delivery of 20 new recliner chairs, 25 cots and cot mattresses, 40 bedside tables, and lockers for the Gloucester and Dacre wards.

The call bell system across the Gloucester and Dacre wards will also be replaced, the trust promised, and the processes for ordering and replacing equipment streamlined.

Staff training has begun on "the introduction of a nationally recognised toolkit to improve triage risk assessment", the trust said, and open day recruitment events are planned for March, June and October.