Maternity services at a Hackney hospital have been rated 'good' despite problems with staffing and telephone assessment of patients coming in.

Homerton University Hospital received the Care Quality Commission (CQC)'s second-highest rating after an inspection in June.

Although the health watchdog’s report found problems with staffing levels at the hospital’s maternity services, it said “managers always reviewed staffing levels to mitigate risk”.

Rating the overall services as ‘good’, CQC inspectors said: “Midwifery staff had training in key skills and worked well together for the benefit of women and birthing people, understood how to protect women and birthing people from abuse, and managed safety well.”

They added that the service managed safety incidents “well” and learned lessons from them.

Overall, the CQC’s rating for how safe the service was ‘requires improvement’, as the inspection found problems with staffing and the telephone triage system, which assesses incoming patients.

The service was rated ‘good’ for how well-led it was, with inspectors finding that trust leaders were “visible and approachable”.

The health watchdog found two areas of outstanding practice at the hospital’s maternity services.

It praised the relationship the hospital has with the Jewish community, which account for 12% of the women in the service’s care, as well as how the ward staff deal with birth partners.

Partners usually have a wristband to identify them so that the ward clerk would not have to keep asking for their details each visit, while pictures of partners known to be a risk to women helped the ward’s desk to identify them.

Trust chief executive Louise Ashley said: “We are delighted that our maternity services have maintained their 'good' rating from the CQC.

“This reflects the hard work and dedication of our doctors and midwives towards mothers and their babies.

“It is most gratifying that the inspectors recognised the sound leadership within the department and how the team works so hard to meet the health and cultural needs of all women and birthing people under our care.

She added: “But we also recognise that there are a number of issues raised by the inspectors which we need to address as a matter of urgency and we are drawing up an action plan which we will share with the CQC over the next few weeks.”

The inspection was part of CQC's national maternity inspection programme, which aims to give an up-to-date view of hospital maternity care across the country.