Northumbria Healthcare bucks national trend with positive feedback on postnatal care – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today (Thursday, February 10) published the results of its 2021 survey of women’s experiences of maternity care in England.

The responses show that Northumbria Healthcare’s results were ‘much better’ than the majority of trusts for the ‘Care in hospital after the birth’ section, with the third highest score nationally, and ‘better’ than most for the ‘Care at home after birth’ section, where it was ranked fifth.

This was despite the overall national results suggesting that the impact of the pandemic has led to poorer experiences for some and exacerbated concerns around the quality of postnatal care, although the majority of women remained positive about the maternity care they received.

In the other six sections of the survey, covering the likes of antenatal care, labour and birth, and care from staff, the trust’s responses placed it in line with the majority of trusts. Its scores for the ‘Start of care in your pregnancy’, ‘Your labour and birth’, ‘Staff caring for you’ and ‘Feeding your baby’ sections placed it in the top 25 nationally.

Northumbria Healthcare’s head of midwifery, Jenna Wall, said: “It is reassuring to see that the overall experience of our patients has been positive throughout their maternity journey and I would like to thank our incredibly hard-working and compassionate staff.

“The survey relates to births during one of the peaks of Covid-19 and, like much of the NHS, the pandemic has meant additional pressure and complexity, so I’m proud that we have managed to maintain the levels of high-quality care we strive to provide.

“However, we will not rest on our laurels. Patient-centred care is absolutely what maternity is about and surveys like this as well as the feedback we receive in other ways all help us to make constant improvements to our service so that we can best meet the needs of our communities.”

The survey shows that the trust’s results were not ‘worse’, ‘somewhat worse’ or ‘much worse’ than the majority of trusts for any of the sections or individual questions.

Northumbria’s results were ‘much better’ than most for three questions, ‘better’ for six questions and ‘somewhat better’ for four questions, and about the same for the remaining 37 questions. In addition, the scores for 20 questions showed an improvement on its 2019 results.

The 2021 survey involved 122 NHS trusts in England, with responses received from more than 23,000 women. A total of 169 Northumbria Healthcare patients responded to the survey.

All NHS trusts providing maternity services that had at least 300 live births were eligible to take part in the survey. Women aged 16 years or over who had a live birth between 1 and 28 February 2021 (and January if a trust did not have a minimum of 300 eligible births in February) were invited to take part in the survey.

Note to editors

The CQC warns that the data for the antenatal and postnatal results is not as robust as the data for labour and birth, given that there is a chance that women receive this care with a different trust and attribution data is provided voluntarily.

Media contact

Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer, Northumbria Healthcare

Benjamin.O’ or 07833 046680.

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