Summary of report contentHealthwatch Dorset created this report to look at the experiences of maternity services in Dorset by people with protected characteristics. The aims of the investigation were twofold: 1) To add other insights to the research conducted by the local NHS as part of the Better Births Early Adopter initiative 2) To contribute to ensuring that Dorset’s diverse demographic of service users is more fairly represented, including those with protected characteristics. The To do this, they ran surveys, events, had face-to-face meetings and group meetings. In total, they recieved feedback from 110 people. There were 2 key themes that arose from the investigation regarding the need for improvement in local maternity services from people with protected characteristics within Dorset: 1. Lack of respect for individual circumstances While much of the feedback about the NHS maternity staff was very positive, there were some people who felt patronised and that they weren’t listened to or respected. 2. Better communication and more time to allow mothers to understand With particular groups of people with protected characteristics, the importance of clear communication is paramount. For example, the Muslim Contact Group said that the majority of mothers talked about ‘very poor lack of communication due to the mother’s language not being English first. Midwives seemed frustrated to have to explain and speak to other members of the family to help the mother through the labour.’ The report contains 12 recommendations, including: - Surveys to include equality and diversity questions - It is important that future surveys requesting patient feedback should include questions regarding age, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual preference and gender identity. This will help to prevent gaps in the feedback and will ensure that services are as equitable as possible. - Translation and staff training in relation to race and culture - Translation services should be provided in a way that best meets the needs of patient, and staff training in relation to race and culture should be reviewed. - Additional support for women with no birth partner - It is important to recognise that a very high percentage of women are supported by birth partners and there is an expectation that women will have this informal support. If there is no birth partner, the woman should not be questioned as to why they are on their own and should receive even more support. This might include extremely vulnerable women who have experienced sex-trafficking and are pregnant following sexual violence, or young adults in care that don’t have family support. The report does not include a response from service providers.
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Baby steps: maternity services report
Type of report
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Other information of note about this report
Healthwatch reference number
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
What type of organisation requested the work
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced?
Secondary care services
Community healthcare and nursing services
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report
Number of people who shared their views
Other population characteristics
Refugees or asylum seekers
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?
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?