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Pregnant mum having a scan

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has been highlighted as providing good maternity care and treatment, according to a survey published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) today (10 February 2022).

The most positive results were of women’s experiences of being cared for by maternity staff, particularly during labour and birth and at home after the birth, with high scores too for having confidence and trust in the staff, good communication throughout and mental health support after the birth.

During the summer of 2021, a questionnaire was sent to all women who gave birth in February 2021 and responses were received from 162 of Airedale’s patients, with almost 60% 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 when compared to most other trusts that took part in the survey:

  • Caring for you – having confidence and trust in the staff caring for you during your labour and birth
  • Caring for you – having the opportunity to ask questions about your labour and the birth after your baby was born
  • Staff caring for you – staff treating and examining you introducing themselves
  • Involvement in decisions – being involved enough in decisions about your care during labour and birth
  • Care at home after the birth – contact with your midwife
  • Care at home after the birth – the midwifery team that you saw or spoke to being aware of the medical history of you and your baby

The trust also scored highly in the following areas:

  • Ante-natal check-ups – your midwives listening to you
  • Clear communication – Being spoken to in a way you could understand
  • Labour and birth – having skin to skin contact with your baby shortly after the birth
  • Respect and dignity – Being treated with respect and dignity during labour and birth
  • Care at home after the birth – When you were at home after the birth of your baby, having the phone number of midwifery or health visiting team that you could contact
  • Care at home after the birth – Mental health support after the birth

    Sarah Simpson, Head of Midwifery at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says:

“We’d like to thank all the women who shared their experiences. Listening to a woman’s experiences of the care she and her baby have received is so important, it really helps us to continually improve and shape our services in the future.  We’ve received some really positive feedback and I’m delighted for our staff who have worked exceptionally hard throughout the pandemic.

Understandably women in all trusts have shared their difficulties that Covid-19 restrictions have caused and we recognise how important these are for our patients and their birth partners.

In response to the feedback, we will continue to regularly review the national guidance on hospital visiting and will increase birth partners’ visiting times as soon as it is safe to do so. We are also working to provide postnatal clinics in the community to offer as an alternative to home visits, and working with our midwives to review and improve the information offered on the options of where to have your baby, particularly in relation to homebirth.

We have lots of new and exciting developments planned, including a new maternity website and online self-referral form that will improve how women are able to access our services and how they get information.  We also have our Maternity Voices Partnership Group, which makes sure we have women’s voices at the centre of everything we do.”