Fifteen Steps for Maternity at Northampton General Hospital

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Summary of report content

On 20 March 2019, volunteers from Healthwatch Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership came together to carry out a 15 Steps Maternity Visit to Northampton General Hospital. On the day of the visit, the volunteers visited four areas: Labour ward; Robert Watson (Postnatal ward); The Barratt Birth Centre; and the Antenatal Assessment Unit / Day Assessment Unit.

The report found that all areas were clean and tidy; birthing rooms were set up to promote active labour on the Midwife Led Unit; the Barratt Birth Centre allowed women the choice of where to give birth; staff were friendly and approachable and were enthusiastic about how the service was developing; there were positive interactions between staff and patients.

The report recommended to include ethnically diverse family pictures and posters; tidy up the posters and displays to look more uniform; information be made available in different languages; display information on the meaning of various staff uniforms; implement more home like décor in and around the Labour Ward; provide information about domestic abuse reporting to staff.

The hospital responded by outlining how they were taking steps to address the different recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Fifteen Steps for Maternity at Northampton General Hospital
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Northamptonshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 April, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 20 March, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 20 March, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Health and safety
Information providing
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 government body
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Local Maternity System Board, Healthwatch Northamptonshire, both Northampton (NGH) and Kettering General Hospital NHS Trusts and Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Obstetrics & gynaecology

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
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? 
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)
Tangible impact (not 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.