New mums share experiences of maternity services at NDHT

New mums have shared their views on maternity services at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust in the latest national Care Quality Commission (CQC) maternity survey, which was published today.

The survey asks new mums about their experience of care whilst they were pregnant, during labour and birth, in hospital after the birth, at home after the birth and for support with feeding. In northern Devon, 107 mothers who had their baby or babies in March or April 2017 shared their views.

NDHT scored in line with trusts nationally in almost all aspects of the survey, including for treating new mums with kindness and understanding after birth. Women rated the Trust as better than other trusts for midwives being aware of the medical history of both mother and baby when delivering care at home after birth.

Scores from new mums relating to their experience of labour and birth were high in many aspects:

  • 8 out of 10 for partners or other loved ones being supported to be involved as much as they wanted
  • 5 for being spoken to in a way they could understand
  • 4 for being treated with respect and dignity

The Trust also scored highly for helping new mums feel supported once they had returned home with their baby, scoring 9.8 for providing contact details for a midwife or midwifery team that they could get in touch with at any time.

Toby Cooper, head of midwifery at the Trust, said: “There are some really positive results in this survey, and it’s great to see some high scores for when mums are in labour and when they are back at home.

“It is no surprise that our staff have scored highly for treating new mums with respect and dignity, and I would like to thank all our staff for their compassionate care, which has resulted in very positive experiences for new mums and their families.”

The survey highlighted a few areas to improve, including:

  • Offering choice about where antenatal check-ups would take place
  • Offering choice about where to give birth
  • Making sure staff introduce themselves when supporting women in labour
  • Supporting partners or other loved ones to stay with new mums as much as they want when in hospital immediately after birth

Toby added: “We want to make sure our patients have a good experience. Hearing from new mums about what went well and what could have been better is very important to us, and the survey has helped us identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Many of them are areas we are already working on and we are already looking at how we can make changes in the other highlighted areas.”

The CQC patient survey results come three weeks after the publication of a report from the CQC following their inspection of services at North Devon District Hospital in October, which included maternity services.

The overall rating was ‘requires improvement’, however the CQC acknowledged in their report that the Trust is responding to safety concerns within the maternity unit and is demonstrating that it is making changes to improve safety and governance.

Darryn Allcorn, director of nursing, quality and workforce at the Trust, said: “There has been widespread media coverage in recent months, which has come about as a result of the action we have taken to review a number of incidents in our maternity services.

“We understand the anxiety this might cause, but we would like to reassure people that this has been a rigorous process, where we have actively identified concerns, acted on them and learned from them. Ensuring the ongoing safety of the unit is our top priority.

“As part of this process, we have invited a review from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and asked for an independent review from an external senior midwife. We have taken immediate action to address their recommendations, as well as those within the CQC report.”

Further information on the results of the survey can be found at:

Posted in News.

Last updated: January 30, 2018