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Survey shows steady improvement in maternity services

Posted: 25 February 2019

Picture of mother watching screen

Feedback from new mothers who used West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s maternity service in early 2018 has been published, showing further improvement in the care provided.

Chief nurse Tracey Carter said: "Our scores show that we continue to make significant progress in the way we care for new mothers. Our staff worked really hard to achieve these results and they will continue to work towards achieving an even better service. We want to make sure that women have the best experience possible while in our hospitals. I am pleased that this is reflected in the survey."

The survey, organised nationally by the Care Quality Commission, was sent to women who gave birth in February 2018 at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. 115 women took part, making a national average response rate of 37%.

The new mothers were asked to rate their overall experience of the care they received, grading the questions from zero to 10, with zero being the worst and 10 the best.

The results showed that the trust made a huge improvement in the area of communication and speaking clearly to women at birth where it scored 9.2. A score of 8.7 was received for staff introducing themselves, and the trust received a score of 8.3 for confidence in the trust and for explaining things to new mothers.

The trust has made changes to allowing partners or someone close to stay with mothers and this is reflected in the results as it scored 7.8, and in partner involvement it scored 9 out of 10. This also highlights that we have taken into consideration that new mothers would like to have their loved ones around to share this important time with them. We received a score of 8.8 for treating new mothers with respect and dignity.

There are some areas for improvements such as directing new mothers to support they might need to deal with emotional changes they could experience after birth. In this area, the trust received a score of 7.6, compared to the previous year when it scored 8.5.

Director of midwifery and gynaecology Colette Mannion said: "Although our scores demonstrate the steady progress we’ve made in the way we care for new mothers, clearly there is room for improvement in some areas. These include the areas of delayed discharge from hospital and providing support to new mothers with emotional changes after birth. We will continue to strive for the best as we recognise that more needs to be done in these areas. We are working with our teams to review the information we provide in order to give key staff the relevant training."


Notes to editors

  1. For more information please contact communications team at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust on 01923 436281 or email. For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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