BOSSES at a North-East NHS trust have been explaining why their maternity services have been judged to be among the top ten nationally.

A national survey found that County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is among the best in England for its maternity services. The trust runs hospitals in Darlington, Durham City and Bishop Auckland.

The survey for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) asked women about their experiences of maternity services. The Trust’s scores for antenatal, labour and birth, as well as post-natal services, were among the highest nationally. The survey also revealed the Trust’s services have improved since the last survey was carried out in 2010.

Anne Holt, CDDFT’s head of midwifery and gynaecological services, said: “We are thrilled with the results of this survey. The improvement in patient experience shown in this report reflects the hard work we’ve been doing to ensure we’re providing women, and their families, with the best possible experience during pregnancy and birth, and supporting them afterwards.

“We have been implementing a number of new policies and initiatives, addressing the public health agenda around breast feeding support, smoking in pregnancy, as well as a whole host of training and development work, so we can provide mums-to-be with the birth they want. For example, we’ve installed a new birthing pool at University Hospital of North Durham.

“We have also been developing some specialist roles within our teams. We have midwives who are breast feeding advisers and teenage pregnancy advisers, so we can target more vulnerable groups to improve their experience as well.”

South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs maternity services at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and The Friarage Hospital in Northallerton also finished in the top ten nationally.