Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust today (Thurs) welcomed a major national report that brings together the lessons from a review of maternity units across the country.
The Trust’s service was rated as ‘best performing’ in the review which, like today’s analysis, was carried out by the Healthcare Commission (HCC).
The HCC looked at the care provided from the moment a mother-to-be first contacts a service to her final contact with a midwife, usually around 10 days after birth.
Northern Devon came out top among the 15 maternity units in the South West – Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset – in two out of three categories:
- The level of ‘woman-centred care’, which covers issues such as the choices on offer during labour and the quality of support after the birth
- Efficiency and capability, which includes staffing levels and the homeliness of delivery rooms
It was joint third in the South West for ‘clinical focus’, which includes compliance with national guidance and best practice.
Now the Trust aims to make further improvements by drawing on other good practice around the country and making sure it takes into account a series of recommendations in the new report, Towards Better Births. These cover:
- Access to antenatal care
- Antenatal classes
- Continuity of care
- High risk pregnancies and special services
- Care during labour and birth
- Women with mental health needs
- Postnatal care
Carolyn Mills, Director of Nursing, said: “We know from the Healthcare Commission and from local mums that we’ve got a very good maternity service, but there’s always room to improve. We’ll be looking very carefully at the lessons from across the country to make sure we continue to offer one of the best services in the NHS.”