Summary of report content
The Royal Oldham Hospital invited Healthwatch Oldham to undertake a review of the experiences of pregnant women and their partners/birth partners attending their Antenatal Clinics. They undertook interviews with 66 pregnant women and surveyed 25 partners/birth partners n May and June 2018.
Overall most of the women who took part in the survey were very happy with the level of antenatal care they received with 92% feeling that their concerns were listened to and that they were involved in choices and decisions about their care. However, there were a small number (7%) of women who felt their choices were not listened to. The midwives at both the ROH and in the community received particular praise for their friendly approach. Overall most of the fathers/partners who took part in the survey were also happy with the level of care offered to the expectant mothers. In terms of adopting a healthier lifestyle 32% of fathers/partners said they already had a healthy lifestyle and 36% said they had made changes as a result of their partner’s pregnancy.
Areas highlighted for improvement included women seeing the same consultant at each appointment, clearer explanations by doctors, a phone call or text message to say when results had been received and that all was well, understanding how long they would be waiting for appointments, and lack of car parking spaces. A significant finding from the survey was that 30% of pregnant women did not attend their first antenatal appointment within the recommended timescales of 8 to 12 weeks. This can be significant as some tests such as sickle cell and thalassaemia need to be carried out within the first 10 weeks. Most women at the time of interview had not been asked about all 11 topics covering lifestyle issues, antenatal classes, birthing options and breastfeeding that should be covered at antenatal appointments. Whilst most fathers/partners were happy with the level of care, the level of satisfaction about their concerns and questions being listened to was lower than that reported by the women. Nearly 50% of partners said they would welcome information specific to them.
There were 8 recommendations aimed at addressing the concerns raised by the research.