Maternity listening project

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Summary of report content

From February to June 2015 the engagement team at Healthwatch West Sussex visited 8 parent and baby/toddler groups to hear what parents and carers had to say about local maternity services. The listening project was devised so local voices could inform the national NHS England focus on Maternity and local commissioning. The report includes many personal stories and experiences from different parents who have had a baby in the last two years. After speaking to 285 parents it was clear while many parents had a fantastic birthing experience, many others are still traumatised by their experience and felt there were things that could have gone better. The drive towards personalised care is an important one for maternity support and it is clear from parents that one-size support does not work for them. Parents shared their issues with the hospital environment that affected their experience, from basic things like hospitals not having enough pillows to issues such as the wards being too hot. Parents expressed the frustration and cost of travelling to see a midwife at The Gattons Children and Family Centre (Burgess Hill) since there was none available at the other children centres. Healthwatch intend to discuss with providers and commissioners how each will use the accounts within this report to enhance their work and practice and intends to follow-up with providers on individual recommendations. We will discuss the report content with the Mid Sussex Maternity Services Liaison Committee to see how this can influence the development of service provision. An update to the findings of this report on how services and individuals have used this information should be ready for publication in October 2015.

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General details

Report title 
Maternity listening project
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch West Sussex
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 February, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 5 June, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Other information of note about this report 
Case Study
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Obstetrics & gynaecology
Community services 
Community health care services - independent midwives

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth
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 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.