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RCOG statement on the NPEU maternity survey 2014

News 26 February 2015

Today, the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) at Oxford University has published Safely delivered: A national survey of women’s experiences of maternity care 2014.

The survey used a sample of 4,500 women in England to collect evidence regarding the views and experiences of women who have recently given birth. As maternity services are restructured and evolve, the information from this study provides a picture of current practice and a point of comparison with the past and for the future.

Key findings from the report show that:

  • 94% realise they are pregnant by 6 weeks
  • 96% seek care by 12 weeks
  • More women are seeing a midwife rather than a doctor at the start of pregnancy care
  • Postnatal hospital stays are shorter and women receive fewer midwife home visits
  • 9 in 10 women reported a positive experience of their maternity care

Commenting on the survey, Professor Alan Cameron, RCOG’s Vice President for Clinical Quality said:

“The RCOG welcomes the publication of the latest NPEU maternity survey, which once again offers a comprehensive assessment of women’s experiences of antenatal and postnatal care.

“While the results of the survey are mainly positive, including in terms of the strengthening relationships between women and healthcare professionals and the fact that 9 out of 10 women are satisfied with the care provided to them during pregnancy and birth, it does raise some issues which need to be monitored and addressed.

“These include increases, compared to the 2010 survey, in women unhappy with their postnatal care; in lack of continuity of care; and in concerns raised by some women from BME groups about lack of access to services and that they were not always treated with respect by their carers.

“All women should receive the best possible care in a continuum, from pre-conception to after birth and the RCOG believes that strategic clinical networks, focusing on women’s health, will help improve services and ensure that appropriate care can be provided at every stage of a woman’s life.”


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email