New mums have shared their views on maternity services at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) in the latest national Care Quality Commission (CQC) maternity survey.
The survey asked new mums who had their baby or babies in February 2019 about their experience of care before, during and after birth. The positive survey results follow a sustained period of improvement in the maternity department at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH).
NDHT scored better than other trusts nationally in six of the questions asked, including for staff being attentive and treating new mums with kindness and understanding after giving birth. The Trust has been working hard to help new mums with feeding their baby/babies, and this was reflected with better scores than other trusts nationally on this topic.
High scores from across the survey include
- 9.7 out of 10 for staff introducing themselves
- 9.6 for providing pregnant women with a phone number for a member of the midwifery team, and 9.8 for providing new mums with a phone number for a member of the midwifery or health visiting team
- 9.5 for staff asking about their mental health
- 9.5 for partners or other loved ones being involved in their care during labour and birth as much as they wanted
- 9.4 for cleanliness of the hospital room or ward
Improving maternity services
NDHT has been implementing a wide-ranging maternity improvement plan since 2017, following an invited review from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and an inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), both in that year. All maternity departments receive regular reviews from RCOG and the CQC.
Joanne Hayward, head of midwifery at the Trust, said: “I’m really pleased to see these high scores from the women in our care. This reflects our work as a team to make positive improvements in our service, which has been a focus for the Trust over the last few years.
“There is now enhanced senior clinical leadership in midwifery and obstetrics, an increased number of consultant obstetricians, and improved incident investigation processes. This has been supported with strategies to create better team working and an improved culture, which support delivery of a safer service.”
The Trust constantly strives to ensure that services are as safe and compassionate as they can be. On-going service enhancements in maternity include the launch of a new community maternity hub in Bideford next month, the first of a series of hubs that will launch across northern Devon. This will provide women with a local centre where they can access different aspects of their maternity care, including antenatal care and education and postnatal care.
Joanne added: “I would like to thank all our staff for their continued commitment to delivering a safe and compassionate service. This, along with the feedback we receive every day, shows that we are creating very positive experiences for new mums and their families.”
Scores from the CQC maternity patient experience survey were in line with other trusts nationally for all but one question. This was around supporting partners or other loved ones to stay with new mums as much as they wanted when in hospital immediately after birth. We will use these survey results to inform further enhancements of our maternity services.
Further information on the results of the survey can be found at: www.cqc.org.uk/publications/surveys/maternity-services-survey-2019