Open letter following latest CQC reports into Leicester’s maternity services

Posted by: Jamie Sharp - Posted on:

We are writing to you following publication of the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports into maternity services at our hospitals.

The CQC inspected maternity services at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) and Leicester General Hospital (LGH) in January 2024 to check improvements had been made since the previous inspection in March 2023, after which the CQC issued a warning notice.

Inspectors visited services at the LRI and the LGH in an unannounced two-day inspection. Inspectors noted improvements, along with our staff focus on meeting the needs of families accessing the service.

As a result of the inspection, our services have moved from an Inadequate rating for safe, to Requires Improvement. Overall, the rating for the service remains as Requires Improvement.

We want to reassure you that we have strong improvement plans in place and that many of the actions from both the 2023 inspection and that in January 2024, are already complete or well underway.

One of the CQC’s key concerns is staffing, which is a recognised challenge nationally. Since the inspection in January 2024, we have made further progress and have welcomed 29 midwives with 51 more due to start before November. Since the autumn we have also recruited three new consultant obstetricians alongside nine speciality doctors.

We have improved the safety of babies in our care with the installation of X-tag, at both the LRI and the LGH, providing real-time location tracking for newborns. We have also upgraded our fire safety systems. To address delays in elective (planned) maternity care we have introduced a new ‘Induction of Labour’ pathway across both sites and work has started on a new maternity theatre at the LGH, due to open this summer, meaning that planned and emergency caesareans can take place in separate areas. We are also opening a new day assessment unit at the LGH which will further improve your access to non-urgent appointments.

While we know there is much more to do to, we are encouraged by the reports’ acknowledgement of the hard work of colleagues and their focus on patient care, along with the recognition of the improvement plans we have in place and the leadership in the service, all of which are contributing to a culture of safety and openness.

Please be assured that Leicester remains a safe place to give birth. If you are ever worried about the care you are receiving, please contact your community midwife or your named consultant in the first instance. We promise to listen to you and take your concerns seriously. If your concerns are not resolved or you wish to raise them to someone outside of the clinical team, you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service:

Freephone: 0808 178 8337 

Email: [email protected]

You may also wish to engage with the local Maternity & Neonatal Voice Partnership (MNVP), a network of local parents and health professionals that work together to help improve maternity care in our area. You can call them on 07721 327070 or email: [email protected] and more information is available at:

We will ensure any feedback you have is heard, recognised, and acted upon.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Hogg, Chief Nurse

Dan Barnes, Deputy Medical Director

Danni Burnett, Director of Midwifery

Jonathan Cusack, Clinical Director