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Home Industry News NHS maternity services ‘are good but wide variations exist’

NHS maternity services ‘are good but wide variations exist’

27th November 2007

Mothers in the UK have given a good account of maternity services available on the NHS, it has been claimed, while there also exists a wide disparity between different trusts, especially in the areas of cleanliness, food, communication and postnatal care.

A survey published today by the Healthcare Commission found that 89 per cent of mothers said their care during pregnancy was “good”, “very good” or “excellent”, with this figure rising to 90 per cent for labour and dropping to 80 per cent after the birth.

However, 43 per cent of women said they were not given the choice of a home birth as National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines dictate, while 26 per cent report feeling anxiety at being left alone during labour or shortly after giving birth.

Furthremore, 19 per cent of women surveyed described hospital food as “poor” and eight per cent described their hospital room as “not at all clean” or “not very clean”.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: “We expect trusts to make full use of their individual results and the opportunity to compare with others.

“These results show us that many trusts provide very positive services for women.”

She added that trusts that have shown less-positive results should learn from the example of providers who have been shown to perform better.

In May 2007, a report published by King’s College London warned that a lack of standardisation of maternity support workers could put women and babies at risk of receiving a lower quality of care.

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