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Maternity Services move from Inadequate to Requires Improvement in latest CQC Inspection

CQC report graphic

We are pleased to share that our maternity services have made significant progress in the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, moving from an inadequate rating to requires improvement.

This positive move marks a step forward for our services, affirming our commitment to providing high-quality care to expectant mothers, pregnant people and their families.

While we acknowledge this accomplishment, we recognise that we have more to do and will continue on our journey of further improvement.

An unannounced focused inspection was carried out at University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital in January 2024.

This was to follow up on the progress of improvements after a previous inspection in March 2023.

The improved rating from the CQC is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our maternity teams.

We have worked hard to address the areas highlighted for improvement in the previous inspections, and have implemented robust measures to enhance the safety, quality, and experience of our maternity services.

This would not have been possible without the collective efforts of our teams.

While we recognise this progress, we remain fully aware that there is still work to be done. Our commitment to excellence drives us to continually strive for the highest standards of care.

We will continue to listen to feedback from patients, families, and staff to identify areas where we can make further improvements.

Our aim is to ensure that every family feels supported, empowered, and safe throughout their maternity journey.

Please see below a video message from our Director of Midwifery Gergana Nikolova in response to the publication of this latest CQC report for maternity services.



We value the voices of expectant mothers, pregnant people and their families, and we are dedicated to actively involving them in decision-making processes and will continue to work closely with our Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership.

As well as maternity services overall at University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital improving from inadequate to requires improvement, so has how safe and well-led the services are.

The overall rating for both hospitals has improved from requires improvement to good. The Trust remains rated as good overall.

The full report is available on the CQC website to view please click here.

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 email and we will support you as much as we can.

You can also contact your local Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MNVP) if you would like to share details of your experience. Cathy Harvey is the County Durham and Darlington MNVP Chair:

'I am writing to congratulate you on your wonderful staff you have working for you at DMH.'

Patient, Catering / Porters / Domestics, Darlington Memorial Hospital