12 January 2023

A new survey by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that women are treated with dignity and respect whilst receiving antenatal care, and during labour and birth, at the Trust that provides maternity services for women in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales.

The 2022 CQC Maternity Survey involved 121 NHS Trusts in England and is designed to build an understanding of the risk and quality of maternity services and care. It highlights women’s views on all aspects of their maternity care from the first time they see a clinician or midwife, through to the care provided at home in the weeks following the arrival of their baby.

SaTH’s results were better or somewhat better than most other trusts in six questions and the Trust had the highest score in the region for the theme ‘Feeding your baby’. None of its results were below the average benchmark of the other 120 Trusts surveyed in England.

The questions where the Trust received a ‘Better’ or ‘Somewhat better’ score, include:

  • At the start of your labour, did you feel that you were given appropriate advice and support when you contacted a midwife or the hospital? (better)
  • Thinking about your stay in hospital, how clean was the hospital room or ward you were in?
  • Did you feel that midwives and other health professionals gave you active support and encouragement about feeding your baby?
  • During labour and birth, were you able to get a member of staff to help you when you needed it?
  • If you needed attention while you were in hospital after the birth, were you able to get a member of staff to help you when you needed it?
  • Thinking about the care you received in hospital after the birth of your baby, were you given the information explanations you needed?

Further findings of the survey where SaTH received a score higher than 9/10, include:

  • Being listened to by midwives during antenatal check-ups
  • Partners being involved as much as they wanted to be during labour and birth
  • Being spoken to in a way service users could understand during antenatal care and during labour and birth
  • Staff introducing themselves before treating and examining service users
  • Having decisions about how service users wanted to feed their baby respected by midwives
  • Midwives and health visitors asking service users about their mental health

Hayley Flavell, Director of Nursing at SaTH, said: “The CQC Maternity Survey is an important indicator of what our service users feel we are doing well and areas in which we should look to make improvements.

“It is encouraging to hear new mothers felt supported and listened to whilst using our services before, during and after birth and that they were able to access help when needed.

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete this survey. Every piece of feedback we receive helps us to improve. We will now focus on identifying areas in which we can further improve our care whilst continuing to put service users at the heart of all that we do.”

Emily Evans, Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Service User Chair, said: “The results of the 2022 Maternity Survey are encouraging to read and they complement much of the positive feedback we receive from service users who contact us at the MVP.

“We will continue to work with SaTH as the voice of service users and to encourage and help to facilitate further progress over the coming months.”

The full national results of the 2022 Maternity Survey will be on the CQC website later this year, together with the technical document which outlines the survey methodology and the scoring applied to each question: www.cqc.org.uk/maternitysurvey