Summary of report contentWessex Voices was commissioned to carry out engagement with women and their birthing partners. Healthwatch Hampshire, one of Wessex Voices’ partners, was asked to undertake this on behalf of the project. They, alongside the LMS, created a survey with midwives and service managers to look at experiences of women and their birthing partners around pregnancy, birth and the first 10 days after birth. Healthwatch Hampshire Engagement Officers and volunteers attended nine Child Health Clinics run by Health Visiting Teams across the county, as this was seen as the most likely place to engage parents of babies under 1 year old. They were on hand to promote and support parents with completing the survey. All of the clinics attended were busy, with some having over 60 parents and babies’ attending one session. Over 400 leaflets were handed out, and the majority of parents wanted to complete the survey at home when they had time to give it their full attention. All the parents we spoke to were happy to share their experiences with us, and saw the work as very important. In total 1215 responses from mothers and 63 responses from birth partners were recorded, and the results will be used to inform future decisions about maternity services. This extensive engagement with women and their birth partners has shown that overall, women have very positive experiences throughout their pregnancy and birth in all areas of Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Most women were very thankful for the support they had received from all healthcare professionals. Many women recognise the pressures faced by the NHS and the amount of effort that staff go to, to make their experiences as smooth and stress free as possible. Despite this, there are a number of clear areas that have been highlighted where women tend to have shared experiences that require improvement. The report makes 9 recommendations: Provide clear and easy access to information and support at all times; clear communication at referral, particularly for referrals related to raised BMI; manage expectations and ensure all communication is open and transparent, particularly when discussing birth plans and options; ensure that women have access to a consistent service at times that suit them; provide appropriate information after birth; improve diagnosis and treatment of tongue-tie; ensure everyone who would like to access antenatal classes has the opportunity to do so; improve breastfeeding support and provide specialist support at easy to access locations across the region and; improve communication by using consistent and easy to understand terminology. The report and recommendations were published before being shared with commissioners and providers of maternity services.
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Date of publication
Wednesday, 14 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began
Wednesday, 16 August, 2017
Date evidence capture finished
Thursday, 14 September, 2017
Type of report
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Cost of services
Digitalisation of services
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Quality of patient transport
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Healthwatch reference number
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
What type of organisation requested the work
Other (please specify)
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner?
Wessex Voices and The Local Maternity System for Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced?
Primary care services
Secondary care services
Community healthcare and nursing services
Types of disabilities
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report
Number of people who shared their views
Does the information include public's views?
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views?
Does the information include staff's views?
Types of health and care professionals engaged
Does the information include other people's views?
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views?
Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report?
Does the information contain a response from a provider?
Is there evidence of impact in the report?
Is there evidence of impact external to the report?