How did mums rate our hospitals in new survey?

The NNUH, QEH and West Suffolk Hospital have all been rated in the CQC's latest maternity survey. Pi

The NNUH, QEH and West Suffolk Hospital have all been rated in the CQC's latest maternity survey. Picture: Nick Butcher/Ian Burt/West Suffolk Hospital - Credit: Archant

Norfolk mums have praised the communication and respect by maternity staff in a new national survey into care and treatment.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released the report after speaking to women who gave birth in February 2019 about their maternity care at 126 hospital trusts.

Norfolk and Norwich (NNUH), the Queen Elizabeth (QEH) and West Suffolk hospitals were all ranked "about the same" in comparison to other trusts.

James Paget University Hospitals opted out of the survey due to low birth numbers in that period.

Respondents answered questions about different aspects of their care and treatment, with trusts scored out of 10 for each question in three categories - labour and birth, staff during labour and birth and care in hospital after the birth.

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The CQC said across England the results highlighted positives about women's experiences communicating with staff with 84 per cent of those surveyed saying they 'definitely' had confidence and trust in staff during labour in birth, up from 78 per cent in 2013.

But, the report showed a significant proportion of women felt they did not have access to the support that they needed and that the quality of information provided about mental health could be improved.

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At the NNUH, 167 patients responded to the survey, scoring the trust 9.2 in the labour and birth category, 8.9 for staff during labour and birth and 8.1 for care in hospital after the birth.

Patients rated the trust "better than most" when it came to advice at the start of labour and "about the same" in 18 of questions.

Emma Hardwick, head of midwifery at NNUH, said: "We have plans to look more closely at the issues raised by our patients and look at how we can incorporate their views into the 'continuity of carer' programme.

"We would also expect that being able to speak to the same health professionals would improve communication and make it easier for women to raise issues, particularly about mental health, and feel they had been listened to by their midwife."

The QEH was marked 8.8 for labour and birth, 8.4 staff during labour and birth and 7.2 for care in hospital after the birth by 112 respondents.

It received about the same in the majority of the questions but was rated 'worse' with a score of 8.4 when it came to confidence and trust in staff during labour and birth.

Kathryn Owens, deputy head of midwifery, said the trust's women and children's division would continue to ensure progress was made across all areas.

She added: "Results of the National Maternity Survey 2019 show some pleasing progress in some areas, however in other areas our results disappointingly showed that we were not treating all our families with the kindness, compassion, respect and dignity they are entitled to during their labour and birth when our patients were surveyed in January 2019."

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust had 146 patients respond to the survey, rating it 8.8, 8.5 and 7.1 in the three categories.

Karen Newbury, head of midwifery at the trust, said there had been changes since its latest CQC inspection which came out today about making improvements to its services.

She added: "We're always pleased to hear from our new families to see how they feel about our maternity service and the experience they have with us.

"Although these results are really encouraging and it's good to know the majority of our families are happy with the care we provide, we know that there is more we can do to improve the experience of care for all our mums, dads and babies."

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