Shropshire Star

Shropshire health leaders 'encouraged by results of national maternity survey

Shropshire health bosses have said that results of a maternity survey are 'encouraging', despite fewer women reporting positively about their experience of maternity care.

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The 2022 Maternity Survey, which was run by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), involved 121 NHS Trusts in England and received responses from more than 20,900 women.

It was designed to find out what people using maternity services in 2022 felt about the care they received while pregnant, during labour and delivery, and once at home in the weeks following a birth.

Results of the survey were published last week and key national findings revealed that fewer women feel they always got the help they needed during labour and birth.

Many were disappointed at the amount of time their partners could stay with them after the delivery of their babies, and a significant number reported that they did not feel listened to when they raised concerns.

The CQC said it had noticed a “deterioration” over the last five years in the ratings women gave their care, as well as a "downward trend" on most measures examined to track maternity care across the county.

Despite this, leaders at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) have said their results were better or somewhat better than most other trusts in six questions posed to participants.

The trust has said that none of its results were below the average benchmark set and it also received the highest score in the region for the theme of 'Feeding your baby'.

The six questions where there Trust received a 'better' or 'somewhat' better score were:

  • At the start of your labour, did you feel that you were given appropriate advice and support when you contacted a midwife or the hospital?

  • Thinking about your stay in hospital, how clean was the hospital room or ward you were in?

  • Did you feel that midwives and other health professionals gave you active support and encouragement about feeding your baby?

  • During labour and birth, were you able to get a member of staff to help you when you needed it?

  • If you needed attention while you were in hospital after the birth, were you able to get a member of staff to help you when you needed it?

  • Thinking about the care you received in hospital after the birth of your baby, were you given the information explanations you needed?

Commenting on the results, Hayley Flavell, director of nursing at SaTH, said: “The CQC Maternity Survey is an important indicator of what our service users feel we are doing well and areas in which we should look to make improvements.

“It is encouraging to hear new mothers felt supported and listened to whilst using our services before, during and after birth and that they were able to access help when needed.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete this survey. Every piece of feedback we receive helps us to improve.

"We will now focus on identifying areas in which we can further improve our care whilst continuing to put service users at the heart of all that we do.”

The trust received a score higher than nine out of 10 in areas including pregnant woman being listened to by midwives during antenatal check-ups; partners being involved as much as they wanted during labour and birth and midwives and health visitors asking pregnant women about their mental health.

Emily Evans, Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin service user chair, added: “The results of the 2022 Maternity Survey are encouraging to read and they complement much of the positive feedback we receive from service users who contact us at the MVP.

“We will continue to work with SaTH as the voice of service users and to encourage and help to facilitate further progress over the coming months.”