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Maternity wards receive top praise from local mums in CQC survey

Anna Stabler, Interim System Chief Nurse for NCIC

Three maternity wards in Cumbria are celebrating after receiving top praise from local mums.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published results of a national maternity survey – which shows that the former North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is performing better than expected.

During the summer of 2019 a questionnaire was sent to all women who gave birth in January and February 2019 at similar trusts.

Responses were received from 124 patients.

The survey asked women about their experiences of care across the pregnancy pathway from antenatal care, labour and birth, and postnatal care.

The survey is conducted every two years, the previous one being in 2018, and it scores each trust as either ‘better than expected’, ‘worse than expected’ or ‘about the same’.

In north Cumbria, the Carlisle and Whitehaven maternity departments, along with the Penrith Birthing Centre, were given an overall rating of ‘better than expected’.

New mums voted their experiences in labour and birth as 9/10. They rated the atmosphere as 8.6/10 which was better than other trusts of a similar size.

They also rated the care they received from staff during labour and birth as 9.1/10.

They praised the fact that staff introduced themselves (9.7/10) and the fact that they were not left alone (8.7/10).

They rated the attention they were given in labour and birth as (9.5/10) and clear communication – being spoken to in a way they could understand – as (9.8/10).

Attention after birth was rated 8.9/10 and kind and understanding care was given 9.3/10.

Anna Stabler, Interim System Chief Nurse for North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust, said: “For women to be giving such good feedback is really positive.

“The good thing about this survey is that the questions are virtually the same each time, so you can really compare, and also look at areas where you can improve even further.

“When women are telling you things are good that’s a really good gauge.

“Our staff work really hard to make sure that women feel safe, supported and well looked after before, during and after labour.”

In a letter sent to the trust’s former chief executive, Stephen Eames, Nigel Acheson, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “I am pleased to inform you that your trust has been identified as performing better than expected compared with other trusts.

“This is because the proportion of respondents who answered positively to questions about their care was significantly above the trust average.”

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