Care Quality Commission Logo

The Care Quality Commission checks whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards. Visit our website at www.cqc.org.uk.

Maternity services survey 2013

Read the results of our latest survey which looked at the experiences of people receiving maternity services.

Participation and eligibility

  • Participants: over 23,000
  • Response rate: 46 per cent
  • NHS trusts: 137
  • Time period: women who gave birth in February (and January and March in some NHS trusts)
  • Age range: 16 and over
  • Eligibility: all women who had a live birth in a hospital, birth centre, maternity unit or at home.

Key findings for England

There is evidence of improvements since the maternity survey was carried out in 2010.

Compared to the last survey:

  • there has been an increase in the proportion of women who said that they were always spoken to in a way they could understand during antenatal care and labour and birth.
  • more women felt that they were always involved during antenatal care and labour and birth
  • more women felt that they were treated with kindness and understanding and had confidence and trust in the staff caring for them during labour and birth.

For both antenatal and postnatal care, women who saw the same midwife each time tended to report more positively on some areas of the survey. Women who saw different midwives (and who reported that they didn’t mind seeing different midwives) also tended to have quite positive experiences of care as well. More negative responses on those same aspects of care came from women who had not seen the same midwife but wanted to.

Performance in other areas has not improved since 2010 and experiences fell short of expectations.

The results show:

  • that information and support are being provided inconsistently - and in some cases, basic knowledge such as medical history was not known.
  • that information needed to make choices was not consistently provided and the choices themselves were not universally offered to women.
  • fewer women reported that they were not left alone during labour or birth at a time that worried them.
  • almost one in five women felt that their concerns during labour were not taken seriously and some women felt that hospital wards, toilets and bathrooms are not clean enough, especially toilets and bathrooms.

Results for England

For more information read the report which describes the findings for England as a whole.

The results tables include comparisons with findings from the 2010 survey and identify statistically significant changes.

Results for NHS trusts

These results show how trusts performed on questions that could be scored in each area covered by the questionnaire.

The technique used to analyse these results allows us to identify which trusts we can confidently say performed 'Better', 'Worse' or 'About the same'.

View the A-Z list of maternity survey results by NHS trust to find out how each trust scored in the labour and birth section of the questionnaire.

For detailed information on how we scored the NHS trusts, please read the technical document below.

Benchmark reports

Each trust was also provided with a benchmark report on its scores in the survey for all relevant sections. The reports benchmark the trust’s performance against all other trusts and identify areas for improvement.

The information in the benchmark reports provide more detail about the data contained on our NHS trust pages.

Download the individual benchmark reports for each trust from the NHS surveys website.

Pre-release access list

You can find a list of individuals that had access to the results of the survey prior to publication below.