The maternity ward at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital has been making the headlines recently for several reasons: from the fire brigade being called to attend an incident in the staff kitchen; the temporary closure of the unit and along with the rest of our town, they were caught in the heart of the action during last week’s snow as they battled to deliver babies safely.
Throughout all of the recent headlines, the consistent message has been paying tribute to the team and their dedication and a report released this week by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has put an official stamp on the level of care provided by Maternity Care teams across all of our Hampshire Hospitals.
The 2018 Maternity Survey, part of the patient survey programme co-ordinated by CQC, asked new mums to answer questions about different aspects of their care and treatment.
Hampshire Hospitals scored 9.7 out of 10 when women were asked to consider if they were spoken to in a way they could understand during their antenatal care and scored 9.5 for the same question during their labour and birth.
The Trust scored higher than most Trusts relating to the care staff provided to expectant mums, scoring 9.3 out of 10 when mums were asked if they were given enough time during antenatal appointments to ask questions or discuss the pregnancy. The same score was given when the women were asked if during their antenatal appointments, they were involved enough in decisions about their own care.
When new mums were asked if the staff involved in their care introduced themselves, the Trust scored 9.6 performing better than other Trusts in the country. Hampshire Hospitals supports the Hello My Name Is initiative, which encourages all staff to introduce themselves to patients and their families at the beginning of each interaction.
The compassion and care that the maternity teams at the Trust provide meant that the Trust scored 9.6 out of 10 in the survey when new mums were asked if they were treated with respect and dignity during labour and birth. Hampshire Hospitals also scored 9.8 out of 10 when mums were asked if their birthing partners were involved as much as they wanted them to be.
The results for the Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, are available on the CQC website.
Janice Mackenzie, divisional chief nurse for maternity at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m delighted to hear some of the wonderful ways our maternity staff are caring for our patients. Communication is incredibly important in making sure the women we care for are informed and have the best possible experience. It’s fantastic to know that the dedication and compassion shown by the staff in our maternity team across our three hospitals is making a real difference to women and their families. We are always striving to improve and will use the survey results alongside other feedback to look at how we can make things even better for new mums.”