Results from the National Maternity Survey 2022, published by the Care Quality Commission, show that the RUH has scored better than most in several aspects.
These include whether parents feel they are treated with dignity and respect during antenatal care, whether enough information was provided to help parents decide where to have their baby and whether they felt involved in decisions about antenatal and postal natal care.
The CQC results also showed that those giving birth had high confidence and trust in the staff caring for them at the RUH, felt that any concerns raised were taken seriously and were able to have skin to skin contact with their babies shortly after birth.
The survey, which went to those who gave birth in February 2022, looked at the whole experience of maternity care, from antenatal appointments through to giving birth and postnatal care. There were no areas where the RUH scored worse than other trusts who took part in the survey.
Zita Martinez, Director of Midwifery at the RUH, said: “We strive to provide the people we care for with a high standard of personalised, supportive care, and we are really pleased to see this reflected in the CQC’s results.
“We would like to express our gratitude to women, birthing people and their families who took the time to complete the CQC survey last year. This information is absolutely vital for the ongoing development of our services.
“Nationally midwifery services have been under a lot of pressure over the last year due to staffing challenges and the impact of COVID-19.
“To have received such positive results against this backdrop is testament to the hard work and dedication of our midwifery teams who have remained committed to ensuring women and birthing people have a safe and positive experience in our care.
“We know there is always room for improvement and one of our key focuses at the moment is reopening our Chippenham birth centre and reinstating home births after we had to make the difficult decision to pause these services earlier this year due to staffing challenges.
“We know how important it is that people have choice about where they have their babies and were pleased to be able to reopen our Frome Birthing Centre in October after recruiting a number of additional midwives.
“We remain committed to restoring the full service as soon as it is safe for us to do so.”
The RUH maternity service continues to recruit more midwifery staff, with over 30 new colleagues joining the team in the last year.
Zita added: “We’re really keen to build on this recruitment success and have plans to expand our leadership team and increase opportunities for progression to support the retention of our existing midwives and enhance the experience of the people who use our services.”