Maternity Trends Analysis Report 2016-17, Tower Hamlets

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Tower Hamlets analysed the experience of local Maternity Services from April 2016 to June 2017 by collecting and analysing comments from 208 maternity service users identifying a total of 751 issues. This report builds upon the 2016 Health Scrutiny Panel’s Review of Maternity Services at the Royal London Hospital and aims to provide baseline data of the maternity services available to Tower Hamlets residents across the borough; including the RLH, the Barkantine Birthing Centre, GP surgeries and health visitors. This report particularly aims to track and evaluate any changes in patient experience following the adoption of measures to improve maternity services at the Royal London Hospital, as a response to the 2016 CQC report. The report gives some key insights into the Royal London Hospital, maternity unit services including the Reception area which received 73% negative feedback, Diagnosis & testing which received 79% negative feedback, Clinical treatment which got 44% negative feedback and Discharge and follow up which got 70% negative feedback. The key insights into GP surgeries are also reported and found little consistency in terms of service users’ sentiment; with some GPs in the borough receiving much more positive comments than others. The general perception is that GP services are difficult to access, but once one is able to access them, they are of high quality. In examining feedback provided by patients, it was found that some of the issues raised by the Health Scrutiny Subcommittee’s 2016 report are still key themes brought up by service users; including the provision of compassionate care, communication, choice, control, organization and administration. The need for effective, compassionate communication at all levels of the care pathway was, perhaps, the largest emerging point of this analysis. HWTH gives suggestions/recommendations throughout the report on all the key issues they analysed. The report goes on to analyse the results of the feedback highlighting an improvement trend in sentiment towards the maternity services at the Royal London Hospital, specifically; most notably between April-June 2016 and the quarters following it. It reports the key words used in the service user feedback and gives direct quotes from what patients are saying about all the services. The report ends with a question for participants attending a Healthwatch Community Event hosted by Barkantine Practice in April 2017, asking “Where would you prefer giving birth?” and the responses to the options given were: at home (2) , in the Barkentine midwife-led unit (11), in the Royal London Hospital maternity (5) , or in the newly opened birth centre at the Royal London Hospital (7). Giving birth at the Barkantine centre appears to be the most popular option among women who took part in the activity. HWTH will be sharing this report with the following organisations: Maternity Voices (local mothers who work to influence services), Barts Maternity Programme Board, Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, Clinical Quality Review Meeting, Tower Hamlets Health Scrutiny Sub Committee, Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board, Care Quality Commission and Healthwatch England.

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General details

Report title 
Maternity Trends Analysis Report 2016-17, Tower Hamlets
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Date of publication 
Thursday, 13 July, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 April, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 1 June, 2017
Type of report 
Local analysis
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Quality of treatment
Staff attitudes
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
Focus group
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
Website Feedback

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Health visitor
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Discharge lounge
Urgent and emergency care services 
Urgent care services

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
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.