Most women are having a positive experience of maternity care and treatment within the NHS, according to a survey of more than 18,000 people in England.
Published by the Care Quality Commission, the survey results reveal the responses from women who had given birth in February 2017 in services run by 130 NHS trusts across the country. Women were asked questions about all aspects of their maternity care from the first time they saw a clinician or midwife, during labour and birth, through to the care provided at home in the weeks following the arrival of their baby.
Commenting in response to the survey results, Dr Alison Wright, Vice President for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:
“The RCOG welcomes the reassuring findings from the Care Quality Commission’s National Maternity Experience Survey which show that, despite the many pressures on maternity units across the country, women have a positive experience of maternity care and treatment and there have, in fact, been many improvements in services.
“We are especially pleased to see increases in the number of women who said they were offered a choice of where to give birth, had been treated with dignity and respect during labour and birth, and that they had good access to help and support after giving birth.
“However, it is concerning that 15% of women were not offered a choice about where to have their baby and that over a third of women felt that the healthcare professional was only sometimes aware of their medical history.”
“Many of these findings reinforce the key results from the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit which also found variation in care and outcomes for mothers and babies. We urge maternity units and clinical teams to use this insight from women to inform improvements in the quality and coordination of care for all women and their babies.”
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CQC survey results
NMPA organisational survey, published in August 2017
NMPA clinical report, published in November 2017
Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) is the largest evaluation of NHS maternity and neonatal services undertaken in Britain. It aims to help maternity and neonatal services to identify good practice and areas for improvement in the care of women and babies.
About the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (RCOG)
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.