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Maternity services survey 2017

  • Public

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

Eligibility and participation

  • Number of participants: 18,426
  • Response rate: 37%
  • Age range: 16 years and older
  • Time period: women who gave birth in February 2017 (and January 2017 at smaller trusts).
  • Eligibility: Women aged 16 years or older
  • Exclusions: women whose baby had died during or since delivery, women who had a stillbirth (including where it occurred during a multiple delivery), women who were in hospital or whose baby was in hospital at the time the sample was drawn, women who had a concealed pregnancy, women whose baby was taken into care (foster care or adopted), women who gave birth in a maternity unit managed by another provider or in a private maternity unit or wing.

Key findings for England

Overall, women reported positive experiences of maternity care in 2017, and there were small incremental improvements in results across almost every question. Compared with the last survey in 2015 a greater proportion of women said that they:

  • were offered the choice of giving birth in a midwife-led unit or birth centre
  • saw the same midwife at every antenatal appointment
  • were ‘always’ treated with dignity and respect during labour and birth
  • were never left alone during the birth of their baby at a time when it worried them
  • could ‘always’ get help from a member of staff within a reasonable time while in hospital after the birth

For more information, please see the statistical release, which provides the results for all questions and contextual policy information.

For more information about the methodology for the survey, analysis and reporting, please see the Quality and Methodology document.

Results for NHS trusts

These results show how trusts performed on questions that could be scored in the labour and birth section of 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' when compared with other trusts.

View the A-Z list of survey results by NHS trust.

Each trust was also provided with a benchmark report which provides more detail about the labour and birth data. You can view these reports on the NHS surveys website along with additional information for most trusts on their antenatal and postnatal results.

Download the technical document below for detailed information on how we analysed the trust results.

Outliers within trust results

This report identifies those trusts where women experience care that is better, or worse than expected when we compare the survey results across trusts.

Open data

Here, you can find the data that was published in the overall report for England and for each trust.

The file below contains the data for England:

The file below contains the trust level data:

The anonymised respondent level data set will be made available via the UK Data Archive in due course. This website will be updated with its location once available.

Results from previous surveys

You can find the results from previous surveys for England and for trusts on the NHS Surveys website. Please click on the folder for the year in which you are interested and then choose the ‘published results’ folder.

Pre-release access list

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

How will the results be used?

The Care Quality Commission will use the results from the survey in the regulation, monitoring and inspection of NHS acute and NHS foundation trusts in England. Survey data will be used in CQC’s Insight system, which provides inspectors with an assessment of risk in areas of care within an NHS trust that need to be followed up. The survey data will also form a key source of evidence to support the judgements and ratings published for trusts.

Other organisations

The organisations below will use the results in the following ways.

NHS trusts

Trusts, and commissioners, are expected to take action to improve services based on the results.

NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care

Information collected nationally in a consistent way is essential to support public and Parliamentary accountability. The results are used by NHS England and the Department of Health for performance assessment, improvement and regulatory purposes.

NHS Improvement

NHS Improvement will use the results to inform quality and governance activities as part of its Oversight Model for NHS trusts.

Last updated:
6 March 2018


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