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Summary of report content

Wessex 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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General details

Report title 
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Hampshire
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 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Cost of services
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Patient records
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Quality of patient transport
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

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? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Baby clinic
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Community services 
Community healthcare and nursing services

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
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 
Age group 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 

Outcomes and impact

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? 
Not known
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.