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Hospital sees improvements recognised in results of maternity survey

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In September 2019, 295 women who used maternity services at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow during February 2019 - and met the other eligibility criteria - were invited to answer 39 questions about the care and treatment they received.

Of the survey group, 116 women responded (38.93%) - above the average response rate for the other acute trusts surveyed nationally (36.5%).

Key feedback included that women rated the services 9.2/10 for having confidence and trust in the staff who were caring for them during labour and birth (from 8.8/10 in 2018); women rated their care as 9.6/10 for being treated with respect and dignity during labour and birth (8.8/10 in 2018); and women rated the service as 9.0/10 for feeling involved in decisions about antenatal care (this is a new question - no score is available for 2018). Women also rated the service as 8.9/10 for feeling involved in decisions about their care during labour and birth (this is a new question - there is no score available for 2018).

Additionally, women rated the service as 9.6/10 for staff asking about their mental health postnatally and women rated the service as 8.3/10 for being told who to contact for advice about their mental health after birth (these are new questions - there are no scores available for 2018).

Areas that have most improved from the last survey include feeling that concerns during labour and birth were taken seriously (9.1/10 rating in 2019, from 7.0/10 rating in 2018); and women feeling that they were treated with respect and dignity when receiving care during labour and birth (9.6/10 rating in 2019, from 8.8/10 rating in 2018).

Jacqui Featherstone, associate director of midwifery at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, (pictured, back right, with the midwifery team) said: "We are pleased to see improvements we have been working to implement reflected in the experience women have had at our hospital.

"We are continuing to focus on key areas around continuity of care, increased choice for women about locations they are cared for during their pregnancy, and sharing of a wide range of helpful information about support services, including mental health support, to further improve our maternity services."

Sharon McNally, director of nursing, midwifery, and Allied Health Professionals, said: "We are dedicated to continuing to make improvements to our services for women, their partners and families.

"We are using the feedback we have received to build on this for the future."

Notes to editors:

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust was established in April 1995 and provides services at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop's Stortford, and St Margaret's Hospital in Epping. We have an annual income of around £236,700 million. We have 414 general and acute beds at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and provide a full range of general acute services, including a 24/7 emergency department, an intensive care unit, a maternity unit and a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We also provide outpatient and diagnostic services from the Herts and Essex Hospital, Bishop's Stortford, and St Margaret's Hospital in Epping.

We employ around 3,500 staff and serve a local population of about 350,000 people living in West Essex and East Hertfordshire, centred on the M11 corridor and the towns of Harlow, Bishop's Stortford and Epping. Our extended catchment area incorporates a population of up to 500,000 and includes the areas of Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.

In October 2019, the Government announced that we are to receive funding to rebuild a new hospital in Harlow for our patients, community and people. The details around the funding and the timeframe are currently being finalised and we are completing our full business case for the new hospital.In September 2019, 295 women who used maternity services at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow during February 2019 - and met the other eligibility criteria - were invited to answer 39 questions about the care and treatment they received.

Of the survey group, 116 women responded (38.93%) - above the average response rate for the other acute trusts surveyed nationally (36.5%).

Key feedback included that women rated the services 9.2/10 for having confidence and trust in the staff who were caring for them during labour and birth (from 8.8/10 in 2018); women rated their care as 9.6/10 for being treated with respect and dignity during labour and birth (8.8/10 in 2018); and women rated the service as 9.0/10 for feeling involved in decisions about antenatal care (this is a new question - no score is available for 2018). Women also rated the service as 8.9/10 for feeling involved in decisions about their care during labour and birth (this is a new question - there is no score available for 2018).

Additionally, women rated the service as 9.6/10 for staff asking about their mental health postnatally and women rated the service as 8.3/10 for being told who to contact for advice about their mental health after birth (these are new questions - there are no scores available for 2018).

Areas that have most improved from the last survey include feeling that concerns during labour and birth were taken seriously (9.1/10 rating in 2019, from 7.0/10 rating in 2018); and women feeling that they were treated with respect and dignity when receiving care during labour and birth (9.6/10 rating in 2019, from 8.8/10 rating in 2018).

Jacqui Featherstone, associate director of midwifery at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, (pictured, back right, with the midwifery team) said: "We are pleased to see improvements we have been working to implement reflected in the experience women have had at our hospital.

"We are continuing to focus on key areas around continuity of care, increased choice for women about locations they are cared for during their pregnancy, and sharing of a wide range of helpful information about support services, including mental health support, to further improve our maternity services."

Sharon McNally, director of nursing, midwifery, and Allied Health Professionals, said: "We are dedicated to continuing to make improvements to our services for women, their partners and families.

"We are using the feedback we have received to build on this for the future."

Notes to editors:

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust was established in April 1995 and provides services at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop's Stortford, and St Margaret's Hospital in Epping. We have an annual income of around £236,700 million. We have 414 general and acute beds at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and provide a full range of general acute services, including a 24/7 emergency department, an intensive care unit, a maternity unit and a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We also provide outpatient and diagnostic services from the Herts and Essex Hospital, Bishop's Stortford, and St Margaret's Hospital in Epping.

We employ around 3,500 staff and serve a local population of about 350,000 people living in West Essex and East Hertfordshire, centred on the M11 corridor and the towns of Harlow, Bishop's Stortford and Epping. Our extended catchment area incorporates a population of up to 500,000 and includes the areas of Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.

In October 2019, the Government announced that we are to receive funding to rebuild a new hospital in Harlow for our patients, community and people. The details around the funding and the timeframe are currently being finalised and we are completing our full business case for the new hospital.

Inpatient comment:

The staff and care have been excellent. They have made sure I have felt comfortable, secure and safe. They are wonderful and exemplary in their commitment.