Mums have their say on maternity service

By Emily Pearce

Friday, May 30, 2014


Mums have their say on maternity service

With the maternity report are, from left, Isle of Wight Healthwatch locality manager Gretel Ingham, Isle of Wight NHS Trust head of midwifery Annie Hunter, and mother Louise Parkin with her son Max, two.

THE majority of mothers who responded to a survey on maternity services said they were happy with their care — although many noted midwives were 'rushed off their feet’ and services suffered as a result.

Eighty-two per cent of the 187 women who took part in the survey, carried out by watchdog Healthwatch Isle of Wight, said their care during labour was good or very good, while eight per cent said it was poor or very poor.

In terms of ante-natal and post-natal care, 75 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively, described it as good or very good, and ten per cent, in both cases, as poor or very poor.

However, concerns were raised by women who had been given confusing advice about breastfeeding. Twenty per cent said the advice was poor or very poor and some said they were made to feel guilty for bottle feeding.

Some said St Mary’s Hospital staff were 'amazing’ but others said they were rude and dismissive. One anxious mother of a jaundiced baby said she had her call bell removed because she kept ringing for help.

Healthwatch Isle of Wight this week published the findings of the survey, carried out among the 1,298 Island women who gave birth last year and feedback from around 200 interviews carried out at children’s centres.

It has recommended the Isle of Wight NHS Trust improves the diagnosis of 'tongue tied’ babies, which can lead to problems with breastfeeding, and better support women who have had babies before.

Healthwatch Isle of Wight locality manager Gretel Ingham said: "The maternity department at St Mary’s and associated community services, including children’s centres, should be applauded.

"This is a very high approval rating and shows overall mothers have a favourable opinion of services. However, when things go wrong, they seem to go badly wrong, especially in the eyes of the mother, which they can find very traumatic."

The trust’s head of midwifery Annie Hunter said: "It is always good to read positive comments and also identify where we need to focus to make it even better."



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by Jack Woodford

30th May 2014, at 14:01:50

Good to see a 'watchdog' body actually doing something of value and ding so in a balanced fashion.

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by James McAdder

30th May 2014, at 11:39:39

The problem is very simple.

The staffing levels are not suitable for an Island unit where additional staff cannot be quickly called upon from neighbouring units.

The number of staff is OK for normal use levels, but should a larger than normal number of women go into labour at the same time and/or two or more of those get into difficulties then problems occur.

There is the option of calling in on call staff and calling in community staff, but once the workload goes above the level these can cope with the level and quality of care falls off a cliff edge as the staff are reduced to "firefighting".

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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