15 steps Maternity 'Virtual Visit' - Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire’s Maternity Voice Partnership (MVP) conducted a virtual 15 Steps Visit of the labour and postnatal wards at Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital on 30 June 2020. This was a follow up of the visits that took place in April 2019 and was requested by the Local Maternity and Neonates System Board (LMNS) .

The visit took place in the midst of the Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 pandemic. Due to the pandemic there were a number of restrictions in place across the country and in hospitals. It was decided that the safest way to conduct the visits was using cameras to record the visits virtually, to both ensure the safety of volunteers and staff that were conducting the visit and also not put any extra pressure on the hospitals.

In conclusion both hospitals appear to be coping with the new way of working. The faster testing at Northampton General Hospital meant that patients’ experiences were not too disturbed by Covid-19 and in Kettering General Hospital allowances had been made to accommodate for the new changes needed to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on patients. At both hospitals it was concerning that there was a lack of ‘clean’ stickers on equipment that appeared to be ready to use.

The report includes 4 recommendations each for Kettering General and Northampton General Hospital about information to patients, cleanliness and social distancing.

The report includes a response from the providers detailing the action to be taken on the recommendations in the report.

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General details

Report title 
15 steps Maternity 'Virtual Visit' - Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Northamptonshire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 26 August, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Health protection
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Service Provider
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
New mothers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Not known
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.