Princess Alexandra Hospital: Maternity service improvements recognised in national survey

Health / Thu 12th Jan 2023 am31 08:17am

A RANGE of maternity service improvements have been recognised in a national survey carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

The CQC Maternity Survey 2022 highlights improvements across multiple areas of care compared to 2021. The survey included women who had used maternity services between 1 and 28 February 2022 at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT). 

150 women who met the eligibility criteria completed the survey, answering questions about the care and treatment they received at antenatal check-ups, during labour and postnatal care.    

Antenatal check-ups:

During antenatal check-ups, women and pregnant people feeling that they had been given enough time to ask questions scored 9.4 compared to 8.6 in 2021; and when asked if they felt their midwives had listened to them, the rating had increased from 9.0 to 9.5. In relation to mental health and support during pregnancy, the score rose to 9.3 in the 2022 survey results, up from 8.2 in 2021.  

Other areas of improvement included women and pregnant people feeling involved in decisions about their care, which rose to 9.1 from 8.8.  There were also new questions that included the confidence and level of trust in staff caring for them during antenatal care which scored 8.8; and being treated with dignity and respect which scored 9.6.

During labour:

Of the 42 respondents that were induced, the score for feeling they had been given enough information beforehand had risen to 8.6 from 6.3 in 2021, a score which places PAHT in the “much better” category compared to other hospitals in England; with the score for feeling involved in that decision rated as 9.1 compared to 8.1 the previous year.

Overall scores for experiences during labour all saw improvements. Most notably that of 93 women that had raised a concern during labour, the score for feeling they had been taken seriously was 8.3 – this had scored 7 in 2021. And the rating for being treated with dignity and respect also increased to 9.3 compared to 8.6 in 2021.   

When the new mums were asked if they felt their partner, or someone else close to them, had been involved in their care during labour and birth, this was rated as 8.9 compared to 7.6 in 2021; and the score for feeling they were spoken to in a way they could understand rose to 9.4 from 8.6 the previous year.

Postnatal care:

How new parents feed their newborn babies, and ensuring they are involved in that decision, is an area that the maternity teams at PAHT place great focus on. This is clearly demonstrated in the latest survey results where the score for feeling that midwives and other health professionals gave active support and encouragement about feeding their baby rose to 8.3 from 7.6; and feeling that the decisions about how they wanted to feed their baby were respected by midwives increased to 8.7 from 8.4 the previous year.

The cleanliness of the wards and rooms also rated well, up to 9.1 compared to 8.6 in 2021.

Overall summary:

Out of 45 questions asked in 2021, 93% rated the same or scored higher. There were only three questions that were lower but these were marginal with the score against reasons for delayed discharge scoring 6 (previously 6.1); rating for being given help if needed to contact the midwifery team after going home scoring 8.3 (previously 8.4) and being given information about physical recovery after birth rating 7.1 from 7.5 in 2021.

All scores against direct care received during pregnancy, in labour and after birth scored higher than 2021. Of six new questions posed, five had an average score of 8.4. The sixth, which was in relation to partners or someone else close being able to stay as long as they wanted to, scored 1.8, in the context of PAHT, like other maternity units around the country, having updated visiting guidance in response to the Covid-19 pandemic during the survey period.  

Reflecting on the results of the CQC survey, Giuseppe Labriola, director of midwifery, gynaecology and assistant chief nurse at PAHT said: “Our teams continually strive to improve our maternity service for the women and pregnant people in our care and I am pleased to see their efforts reflected in these survey results. 

“We will continue to focus on developing our service for the future in line with the feedback we have received.”

Sharon McNally, chief nurse and deputy chief executive, said: “We take great pride in the maternity services we deliver and we continually seek to improve our standards, for the women and pregnant people using our maternity services, and their partners and families too.    

“The results of this survey will help us to build on our successes and help us identify areas for improvement so that we can continue to deliver increasingly high standards across our maternity care services.”

For further information on maternity care services at PAHT visit: www.pah.nhs.uk/maternity-services

The full results of the CQC survey for PAHT can be viewed online here >

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