Delivering Better Births

Download (PDF 840KB)

Summary of report content

The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Local Maternity System (BOB LMS) asked local Healthwatch to gather views about care planning during pregnancy, birth and after birth. The local Healthwatch involved were Healthwatch Bucks, Healthwatch Oxfordshire, Healthwatch Reading, Healthwatch West Berkshire and Healthwatch Wokingham Borough. An online survey was developed in partnership with the BOB LMS and Maternity Voices Partnership alongside feedback from antenatal groups. A total of 1664 women completed the survey. 

It was found that the majority of women reported having made choices about their care plan and the delivery of their baby. It was also found that women had a mixed response to birth plans as similar proportions reported that they found birth plans helpful or unhelpful, and others said they didn't have one at all. It was suggested that a personalised care plan should include a presentation of choices, such as birthing options, cultural customs and partner involvement, as well as post-natal care, breastfeeding information and mental health support. Furthermore, respondents wanted a choice of paper and electronic formats. Most of those who wanted both a paper and electronic record said that they wanted to know who had looked at their plan.

 A number of recommendations were made whereby the BOB LMS use the results to inform the format and content of the personalised care plan in the STP area; a new plan be piloted with a representative group of women across the area; and that each local maternity service review feedback of the pilot to improve the services.

Would you like to look at:

General details

Report title 
Delivering Better Births
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Buckinghamshire
Healthwatch Oxfordshire
Healthwatch Reading
Healthwatch West Berkshire
Healthwatch Wokingham
Date of publication 
Monday, 24 June, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 8 November, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 10 December, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Patient records
Quality of care
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? 
The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Local Maternity System (BOB LMS)
Primary research method used 
Focus group
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

Secondary care services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if 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? 
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? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible Impact (cost related)

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.