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Women giving birth at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) in 2023 have had their say on the care they received.

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Maternity Survey, published on Wednesday 31 January, reported that OUH’s results were ‘much better’ or ‘better’ than most trusts on four questions. No results were ranked ‘much worse’, ‘worse’ or ‘somewhat worse’ than other trusts, while 50 were rated as the ‘same’.

The healthcare regulator’s survey, carried out across 121 trusts in England, is designed to build an understanding of the risk and quality of maternity services and care.

A total of 368 women who gave birth using OUH services in February 2023 had their say on their experience, responding to questions about care when pregnant (antenatal care); during labour and the baby’s birth; support for feeding their baby; and care after birth (postnatal care).

Two questions, both based around birthing location, were ‘much better’ than most trusts. Two other questions – one about having time to ask questions during antenatal check-ups, the other about being treated with respect – were ‘somewhat better’.

The trust also received significantly improved scores in six questions compared to the 2022 survey.

Senior maternity colleagues have met with the Patient Experience team to discuss the results, action plans and improvements, particularly around the induction of labour pathway and postnatal care experiences.

Paula Gardner, Interim Chief Nursing Officer at OUH, said: “Thank you to all the respondents who took the time to have their say and provide their feedback, letting us know about their experience of OUH Maternity Services. It is pleasing to know from the feedback that women feel supported, especially during pregnancy.

“There are always areas we can enhance the care we provide and, using this survey as a basis, we are building an action plan so we can build on the positives and make improvements where we need to. We are committed to developing OUH Maternity Services for the future.

“Thank you to all our maternity staff for their hard work and dedication to delivering compassionate excellence, which has helped us to significantly improve our scores for several questions.”

The CQC’s trust-level reports, including comparisons against other trusts, can be found on the CQC website.

Maternity staff won an award last year in recognition of exceptional care delivered to a woman who gave birth having previously experienced loss.

More than 7,500 babies are born in Oxfordshire every year. Women giving birth at OUH have six locations to give birth, in addition to home births, including the Delivery Suite at the John Radcliffe Hospital and five Midwifery-led Units (MLUs) across the county.

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