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Maternity survey reveals positive findings

A survey of local women whose maternity care was delivered by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has revealed a number of positive findings.

From the cleanliness of the facilities through to the involvement of their partner, new and expectant mothers rated maternity care across York, Scarborough, Bridlington, Malton, Selby and Easingwold as among the better performing in the country for many aspects of care, according to a survey published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) this week.

The National Maternity Survey 2015 asked the views of 340 local women about their experience of care before, during and after giving birth, 136 surveys were returned giving a response rate for the Trust of 45%.

Key positive findings included 94% of respondents felt their partner was involved as much as they wanted during labour and birth, 92% had skin-to-skin contact with their baby shortly after the birth, while 98% reported the room, ward, toilets and bathrooms as being clean.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust delivers maternity care from York and Scarborough Hospitals as well as to women in the community. Covering a geographical patch of 3,400 square miles the Trust has 240 midwives who deliver 5,000 babies a year.

Liz Ross, Head of Midwifery at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “Patient feedback is invaluable to us. It lets us know when patients think we are doing well and areas where we may be able to make improvements and we are continuously doing this as part of the Friends and Family Feedback which we receive.

“The National Maternity Survey covers the issues that patients consider important in their care and offers an insight into their experience of the Trust.  Overall the results are encouraging and highlight some areas of excellent practice across all our maternity services.

“We recognise that there is always more that can be done and will be using the feedback to make further changes to improve the patient experience for our mothers, babies and family members. 

A number of positive comments included:

“Caring, compassionate, professional, very understanding and stuck to my birth plan and I was left completely in control. Wonderful staff. Truly hats off to them all.”

“I cannot give high enough praise to the hospital team who cared for me.”

“I think the only area of support that could be improved is more support with breast feeding when back at home.”

“The aftercare and support in successful breastfeeding in hospital was excellent and has meant I have been successful in exclusively breast feeding.”

The seven areas where York performed better than other Trusts included

  • Midwives asking fully how mothers were feeling emotionally
  • Patients being spoken to in a way that could be understood
  • Always able to get help by a member of staff within reasonable time
  • Hospital room or ward clean
  • Toilets and bathrooms clean
  • Receiving enough help/advice about feeding baby
  • Receiving information or advice about contraception.

There were two areas where the Trust performed lower than other Trusts. These were, being given a choice about where to have their baby and partners not being able to stay as long as they wanted (this mainly related to Scarborough Hospital).

Liz continued: “These points have already been recognised as areas where we know we can make improvements and we have begun to make a number of changes to improve the patient experience.  

“We have reviewed our leaflet which is given to women when they first access our maternity services. This now contains detailed information about the different birthing options available to them.

“With regards to partners staying overnight, we introduced the ‘Chosen Companion’ initiative at York Hospital in 2014, which has had positive feedback.

“Unfortunately, Scarborough Hospital currently does not have the capacity for companions to stay comfortably overnight however, a new initiative is in the early planning stages, which will encourage companions to stay until mother and baby are settled in the evening.  They will then be encouraged to go home and get some rest so they can be refreshed the following day. This initiative has been a success at other NHS Trusts where partners reporting that they felt they could support and look after mother and baby but were able to go home and rest fully before returning the next day.”

17 December 2015

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We deliver maternity care from York and Scarborough Hospitals as well as to women in the community. Covering a geographical patch of 3,400 square miles we have 240 midwives who deliver 5,000 babies a year.

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