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RCOG Statement on the CQC annual national maternity survey

13 Jan 2023

The CQC’s national maternity survey provides a valuable picture of the experience of those using maternity services in 2022. NHS staff do an incredible job each year supporting people through their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey, and many respondents reported a positive experience. However, the findings also highlight a range of areas where improvement is needed.

We welcome the finding that most (80%) said midwives ‘always’ listened to them at their antenatal check-ups and 71% said they were ‘always’ involved in decisions about their postnatal care. The majority of women (86%) surveyed in 2022 said they were ‘always’ spoken to in a way they could understand during labour and birth. It is also positive to see improvement in maternal mental health support, both during and after birth.

However, satisfaction levels have fallen in many areas. It is important that NHS Trusts now consider actions to improve advice, support and information given to women, and increase confidence their concerns would be listened to, during labour. It is vital that women are listened to, and their experiences inform high-quality care provision.

NHS workforce shortages remain a significant issue and staff are currently working in very demanding circumstances. The CQC survey shows the impact this is having on people’s care experience. The College continues to urgently call for the Government to put in place a fully funded, long-term NHS workforce plan, to recruit, train and retain maternity staff across the UK.

  • Clinical and research
  • Pregnancy and birth