Maternity services move in the right direction, but there’s MORE work to be done

The results of the Care Quality Commission’s Maternity Services Survey have been released and they show improvements have been made, but there are still issues that need to be addressed for new mums and dads

Growing numbers of women were offered a choice of where to give birth, saw the same midwife during their antenatal care and were helped while they waited in hospital with their baby before going home, according to the Care Quality Commission’s Maternity Services Survey, the results of which were recently published.

The survey highlighted ‘the efforts and dedication of staff working hard to provide care for pregnant women and new mothers across the country’.

Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Advisor, NCT, said: ‘These results are great news and should be reassuring for pregnant women in England, with many reporting better antenatal and postnatal care.’

‘It’s good that more women have choice over where they give birth and see a midwife they know and trust throughout their whole pregnancy.’

Despite these improvements, 23% of women were worried by being left alone during labour or birth

More than 18,000 women were surveyed. And the results showed there was a slight improvement on the number of women who felt concerned that they were left without a doctor or midwife present in labour and birth – down from 26% who said the same when the survey was undertaken in 2015.

This shows there is still more to be done to ensure all women receive the quality of care they need.

Elizabeth explains: ‘Encouragingly, the number of women left alone in labour has reduced. However, it is still of great concern that 23% of women are left alone during the birth of their baby which can be a very frightening and dangerous experience.’

‘This reinforces the fact that staffing levels are low and midwives are being stretched to the limit, so we continue to call on the Government to address this midwife shortage.’

She adds: ‘In particular, we hope to see improvements in the continuity of care women receive postnatally, with 72% of new mothers reporting that they did not see the same midwife after leaving hospital.’

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