This was a project across five Local Healthwatch organisations (Slough, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead, Bracknell Forest, Surrey and Hampshire) which would enable new parents to shape maternity services.
As part of the NHS Five Year Forward View, in March 2015 NHS England launched a review into the current provision of maternity services. After a nationwide consultation with women, families, NHS staff and stakeholders, the Better Births report published its findings in February 2016 and set out a proposal to make maternity services across England “safer [while giving] women greater control and more choices”.
- Healthwatch set up 15 focus groups with mothers and birthing partners and spoke to 96 people across the Frimley Integrated Care System area. Most had given birth at Frimley Park Hospital (63) or Wexham Park Hospital (28).
- 75% of respondents said they were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with Frimley Maternity Services and respondents gave lots of positive feedback about all aspects of their maternity experience including:
- Antenatal services, particularly when appointments were on time, they had the time to talk to midwives about their problems and concerns and being given quality information and being told about their options.
- Labour ward, particularly when they felt well-informed, prepared and understood, respondents were very positive about their experiences
- Postnatal services, respondents underlined the extra support they needed, but there was still a lot of positivity about this element of the maternity services.
- Health visitor care, respondents particularly liked continuity of care and the amount of support given and the time taken to explain.
- Specialist services, respondents were very complimentary about the specialist care they received including the neonatal unit where respondents talked about the helpful staff and how understanding and caring they were and the FGM specialists who respondents felt made a real difference to them and their community. Family Nurse Practitioners were universally appreciated by the younger parents that were supported by them.