North maternity units get thumbs up from mothers

The Northern Echo: Approval for maternity units Approval for maternity units

MATERNITY units in North-East hospitals have got the thumbs up from recent mothers as part of a national survey.

Every North-East hospital maternity department was rated as being about the same or better than the average NHS maternity unit in England with scores ranging from 7.8 to 9.1 out of 10.

Scores were given for three categories: labour and birth, staff and care in hospital after birth. No North-East trust was rated as worse than average in any of these categories.

The national survey – which received responses from 23,000 women who had a baby in February this year – showed that women’s experiences of maternity care have improved over the last three years but progress is needed in some critical areas, according to overall results of the Care Quality Commission survey.

However almost one in five women nationally said their concerns during labour and birth were not taken seriously.

One hundred and thirty-seven acute NHS trusts took part and their individual reports will help them compare their labour and birth services with those elsewhere in the country to identify good and poor performance.

Despite being one of only four NHS trusts in the country to be rated as better than average in all three categories the aggregate score for the Harrogate District trust was 26.7 out of 30, putting the North Yorkshire trust slightly behind the highest-scoring trust in the North-East - County Durham and Darlington which scored 26.8.

The County Durham and Darlington trust was rated better than average in two categories - staff and care in hospital after birth.

South Tees was third (26.2), Newcastle Hospitals, North Tees and Hartlepool and South Tyneside were in joint fourth position (25.7), York was placed fifth (25.3) and Northumbria Healthcare finished behind the rest (25.2).

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