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Maternity services survey 2018

  • Public

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

Eligibility and participation

  • Number of participants: 17,611
  • Response rate: 37%
  • Time period: women who gave birth in February 2018 (and January 2018 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 for many areas of their maternity care in 2018, this includes:

  • being asked how they feel emotionally during antenatal care
  • feeling listened to by midwives during antenatal check-ups
  • being spoken to in a way they understood during labour and birth
  • having confidence and trust in the staff caring for them
  • being treated with respect and dignity
  • their partner (or someone else close to them) being involved during labour and birth

However, while there had been small improvements across most questions from 2013 to 2017, very few questions showed this trend continuing between 2017 and 2018, with some questions showing a decline.

This includes women’s experiences of:

  • being given enough information about emotional changes which may be experienced after giving birth
  • being visited by a midwife at home after giving birth
  • seeing a midwife often enough at home after giving birth
  • staff awareness of the mother and baby’s medical history
  • being given enough information about their physical recovery after giving 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 scored questions 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 maternity services survey results by NHS trust.

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

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

Outliers within trust results

This report identifies those trusts where women’s experience of care was 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.

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 publication below.

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 within CQC Insight, which provides Inspectors with an assessment of how trusts are performing. 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:
24 April 2019


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