Nine out of ten mothers giving birth at our hospitals are satisfied with their care, have confidence in our staff, and say they are treated with kindness and compassion.
Our maternity departments received positive scores for almost two-thirds of the questions asked in the latest survey of patients for the Care Quality Commission.
However the national results published today show Barts Health remains an outlier compared to other trusts – our results are good, but not quite as good as our peers.
Although we are continuing to maintain high standards of care in the eyes of our maternity patients, other trusts are getting better and scoring even higher.
So patient experience midwives in our hospitals are developing action plans in partnership with local maternity and neonatal groups to address the CQC findings.
Maternity services across the country are under intense scrutiny in the wake of the reports into scandals at Shrewsbury and Telford, and East Kent, with many trusts – including our group - struggling to recruit enough qualified midwives.
Our most improved result, where we score better than many others, is that eight out of ten patients found their partner was able to stay with them as long as they wanted.
More of our patients also said they were given enough information either before or after birth, including advice on feeding baby.
The survey showed only marginal differences between our three hospitals, with Newham scoring best on aspects of both antenatal and postnatal care, though Whipps Cross was rated better for labour and birth.
Whipps achieved the highest single score with 99% of patients saying staff introduced themselves, while 98% of Newham patients felt midwives listened to them. Staff at The Royal London were particularly commended for involving patients in decisions to induce the baby.
Although fewer patients took part in the survey than previous years, those who did reflected the diversity of our local population with most respondents from ethnic minorities.
Shereen Nimmo, group director of midwifery, said: “All three hospitals offer bespoke information sessions on pregnancy and birth for women from BAME backgrounds, plus online information about induction of labour, and we have interpreters and advocates on hand to support women who do not speak English.
“We are proud of what patients say about their experience, but cannot afford to be complacent. We will now be rolling out additional training for our midwives based on the lived experience stories of our patients to improve their experience even more.”