The Care Quality Commission (CQC) maternity survey has been published today, highlighting women’s experiences of antenatal, labour and postnatal care.
During 2023, a questionnaire was sent to all women who gave birth in February 2023 and responses were received from 125 patients at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, with 47% of those being asked taking the opportunity to share their experiences.
The most positive results for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust were of women’s experiences of being cared for by maternity staff, both during pregnancy and in labour and birth, with higher scores for women being involved in decisions about their care, partners being involved and staying with them as much as they wanted and support for their mental health after their pregnancy.
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.
Women scored the Trust more highly in these areas:
- Antenatal check-ups – being spoken to in a way you could understand
- During labour and birth – being involved in the decision to be induced
- During labour and birth – being spoken in a way you can understand
- During labour and birth – your partner being able to be involved as much as they wanted
- Care at home after the birth – being asked about your mental health
The Trust has also improved in the following area since the last survey:
- Care in hospital – your partner or someone close to you being able to stay with you as much as they wanted
Director of Midwifery, Sarah Simpson and Miss Sumita Bhuiya, Clinical Director for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said on behalf of the clinical leadership and Obstetric team:
“We want to thank all the women who shared their experiences for this survey, it’s a very important part of how we want to work together to transform our services, with women and families at the centre.
We’re pleased that the survey reflects how we continue to support women and their partners in labour, giving personalised care and responding to patients’ needs, and that women felt actively involved in decision making, such as when preparing for their induction and supporting their individual plans of care.
We do acknowledge there is further work to do, particularly around our antenatal clinic appointments held at the hospital and how we ensure that these appointments are meeting the needs of women and families. It’s really important to us that women and families feel listened to.
If any women or their families have any questions during their maternity care then we would encourage them to contact us or their doctor or midwife who will be there to help. This survey is just one of many ways that we listen, learn and improve and women can also share any feedback with our patient advice and liaison service or via the feedback form on our website.
We do strive to work very closely with women in offering individualised care that’s right for them. As a maternity service we are working closely with our local Maternity, Neonatal Voices Partnership Group and this joint relationship is flourishing. We have been working together to ensure that our service users voices are heard, we have engaged in walks around the unit to identify what our service users want to see differently in our ward areas and make improvements to facilities and environment and we are working together to co-produce patient information to ensure that our leaflets are meaningful to women.
If any women do want to get involved in any of our work please get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com.”
In response to feedback in recent months, the Trust has also extended the Maternity Assessment Centre to a 7 day a week service, so women can contact midwives and come to the centre if they have any concerns during the pregnancy.
They have also introduced more post-natal clinics in the community with infant feeding support champions so women can have more support at home with feeding.