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Airedale Hospital has been highlighted as providing good maternity care and treatment, according to a survey published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)  this month.

The most positive results for Airedale were of women’s experiences of being cared for by maternity staff, both during pregnancy and in labour and birth, with high scores for women being involved in decisions about their care, good communication and support for their mental health during their pregnancy.

During 2022, a questionnaire was sent to all women who gave birth in February 2022 and responses were received from 140 patients at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, with 51% of those being asked taking the opportunity to share their experiences.

The maternity survey asks women about their experiences of care at three different stages of their maternity journey: during antenatal care, labour and birth and postnatal care.

In six areas Airedale performed better compared to most other trusts that took part in the survey:

  • During your pregnancy – being involved in decisions about your ante-natal care
  • During your pregnancy – In ante-natal care and during labour and birth – being treated with dignity and respect
  • During your pregnancy – being given enough support for your mental health
  • Care in hospital after the birth of your baby – being treated with kindness and understanding
  • During your pregnancy – In ante-natal care and during labour and birth – being spoken to in a way you could understand

The trust also scored very highly in the following areas:

  • Ante-natal check ups – your midwives listening to you
  • During labour and birth – being involved in the decision to be induced
  • During labour and birth – your partner being able to be involved as much as they wanted
  • Having confidence and trust in the staff caring for you

The Trust has also improved in the following areas since the 2021 survey:

  • Getting enough information to decide where to have your baby
  • Being given enough information on Covid restrictions and implications for your care
  • Being asked about mental health at ante-natal check ups
  • Getting support for mental health during your pregnancy
  • Being involved in decisions about your ante-natal care

Receiving help and advice on baby’s health and progress in the 6 weeks after birth

Director of Midwifery, Sarah Simpson, said on behalf of the clinical leadership and Obstetric team:

 “We want to thank all the women who shared their experiences with this survey, it’s a very important part of how we develop our service for the future, with women at the very centre.  I’m especially pleased too for our staff, that their hard work and dedication is reflected in how women feel about their care.

I’m pleased that they show how we’re supporting women with planning personalised care around them; by having meaningful conversations throughout their pregnancy about what’s important to them at each stage,so it’s a very bespoke and personal plan of maternity care, for that woman and her family.

The results also reflect all the work we’ve done to ensure women have mental health support, by introducing a specialist early intervention midwife and by improving training and education for all our midwives, on mental health needs during pregnancy and after birth.

Women’s voices are always at the core of what we do.  This survey is just one of many ways that we listen, learn and improve, to make sure we’re responsive to what women say.  We also work very closely with the Maternity Voices Partnership Group and they have been involved in recent projects such as a review of our new website and our clinical areas to make sure everyone has the best experience from the moment they get in touch or access the service for an appointment.

If any women or their families want to get involved in the Maternity Voices Partnership or other feedback groups go to the Airedale Midwives Facebook page for more information.