"Significant improvements" in maternity services at Norfolk's biggest hospital have been hailed by care inspectors as it continues to put past struggles behind it.

In recent years, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital had struggled with maternity care and less than a decade ago staff shortages even forced expectant mothers to be turned away.

Eastern Daily Press:

But the department has now seen its Care Quality Commission rating boosted and inspectors hail "significant improvements" in the service being offered to new families.

Stephanie Pease, midwifery director at the hospital, said: "We are delighted the CQC has recognised the improvements we have made, which is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the whole team.

"We are particularly pleased to have over-recruited into midwifery roles to ensure safe staffing."

Eastern Daily Press:

Previously, the service had been rated as requiring improvement, with concerns about staffing levels and a consequent low morale among midwives.

But the inspectors recognised the work carried out to address these issues since the last inspection, in November 2022.

Carolyn Jenkinson, of the CQC, said: "We were pleased to find the trust has made significant improvements.

"We were impressed by the person-centred and open culture leaders had created where people could raise concerns without fear and be listened to.

"Staff told us they felt respected, supported and valued and that they worked in a fair and inclusive environment.

"Staff had clearly worked hard since our previous inspection to improve the quality of care they were delivering, which is why we have now rated their maternity services as good."

Beth Gibson, the hospital's chief of maternity services, said: "We are particularly pleased our open culture has been recognised and our efforts to create one of two maternal medicine centres to improve outcomes for women with pre-existing medical conditions and acute complications arising in pregnancy."