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Maternity services in Northampton praised in national survey of new mothers


Northampton General Hospital is celebrating after receiving top praise from local mothers.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published results of a national maternity survey which shows that Northampton is performing better than most hospitals and in five survey questions is rated the best in the UK.

The survey looked at the experiences of 18,426 women who gave birth at 130 NHS maternity departments across England during February 2017. It asked them about care during labour and birth, as well as the quality of antenatal and postnatal support received.

Carolyn Fox, director of nursing, midwifery and patient experience said: “The survey reflects the priorities and needs of women using maternity services and is clearly focused on what they feel is most important for them during their maternity experience.

“It’s a testament to the fantastic work taking place here every day as we help women to have the best experience possible when they chose to have their baby with us. That the survey results coincide with repeated national accolades for specific elements of our maternity services highlights that we are consistently striving to make every family’s experience as good as it can be.”

The maternity service, which helped to deliver 4,867 babies last year, boasts:

  • A dedicated home birth team supporting women who chose to give birth at home
  • an award-winning support group, Chit Chat, for women with additional needs including women with learning disabilities or those managing anxiety.
  • a nationally-acclaimed Meet the Matron project where women and their partners can meet senior members of the maternity team for advice and support at any stage in their pregnancy or postnatal period. This project has been shortlisted for a national patient experience award. 

Associate director of midwifery, Heather Gallagher said: "These fantastic results clearly show the dedication and team work of our staff in ensuring that women and their families receive high quality care in what matters to them.

“The national maternity transformation programme is helping us drive improvements and implement the national Better Births vision which calls for maternity care to become more personalised and individualised. These results show that the improvements we are undertaking and building on are beginning to show real results for women and their families.”

The results of the CQC’s maternity survey show that NGH has made significant improvements in women’s experience of maternity care in thirteen key areas.

Northampton scored better in twelve questions than the average for all NHS trusts and demonstrated improvements in thirteen areas since the survey was last carried out in 2015.

The responses to the 2017 survey demonstrated a number of notable improvements in women’s experiences compared to other NHS trusts, including:

  • Information giving
  • Support
  • Care with kindness and understanding
  • Communication

NGH was identified as one of only four NHS trusts identified as being better than expected across all labour and birth questions, and had the highest scoring ratings nationally for questions relating to:

  • Information from either a midwife or doctor to help decide where to have your baby
  • If you needed attention while you were in hospital after the birth, were you able to get a member of staff to help you within a reasonable time
  • Treated with kindness and understanding
  • Emotional assessment

The survey covered women’s experiences of all aspects of their maternity care from their first antenatal appointment, through labour and birth, and through the first few weeks at home following the birth of their baby.

Visit the CQC website to access the full survey. 

Maternity engagement event

Northampton General Hospital and Nene CCG are inviting local parents and providers of maternity and neonatal health services to a workshop at the Northamptonshire County Cricket Club on 12 March 2018. Free places are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Refreshments and  lunch will be provided at the event. For more information and to book a place,  visit this Eventbrite booking page. 

Posted on Wednesday 28th February 2018
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