Mums who had their babies at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust between January and February 2007 and participated in the biggest ever survey have shown that satisfaction with services at the Trust is high. The results published by the Healthcare Commission today show that:

  • 88 per cent rated the overall care they received during pregnancy as good, very good or excellent;
  • 82 per cent rated the care they received during labour and birth as good, very good or excellent; and
  • 77 per cent rated the care received after birth as good, very good or excellent.

“This is good news and a real endorsement of the services we provide,” says Michaela Morris, Director of Nursing and Operations at Ashford and St. Peter’s. “As a midwife myself, who originally joined Ashford and St. Peter’s as General manager for Women & Children and shortly after also became Head of Midwifery, I know how far our maternity service has improved over the last 6 years. But we are not complacent and work we have been doing since February indicates that care received in labour and birth now has a 92% approval rating and care after birth an 82% approval rating.”

The last few months have seen several new health policies and recommendations specifically for maternity services which the staff’s maternity services are working hard to implement here at Ashford & St Peters. Eileen Nolan, Associate Director for Maternity Services says: “We are already well advanced in many of the recommendations. ‘Maternity Matters’ published in April is driving the development of new community midwifery services. In fact, here at Ashford and St. Peter’s, we were the first in the south east to appoint our own dedicated facilitator for achieving the ‘Maternity Matters’ recommendations. ‘Safer Childbirth’ published in October and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) ‘Guidelines for Intrapartum care’ published in September are shaping our way ahead for care in labour.”

Associate Director for Maternity Services, Eileen Nolan, continues: “In addition, we are already well ahead with achieving the recommendations in the new ‘Diabetes in Pregnancy: Caring for the baby after Birth’ which was also published in September 2007. This document advises us on the care necessary for babies who may need additional support. We are very excited about all these proposals which will underpin our care for the next few years.

“In particular, we think all these recommendations will offer more flexible choice for women and families and a much higher standard of care for women throughout pregnancy, during labour and the postnatal period. Our aims for the future include working with Children’s Centres to provide:

  • Postnatal clinics in the community to offer women the choice of where to have their postnatal care - women ready to be signed off by the midwife can book an appointment to see the midwife at a children’s centre or clinic rather than wait at home for a visit; and
  • Breastfeeding clinics / Baby Café at Woking Children’s Centre.

“And the inpatient areas are not left out either:

  • Following our successful recruitment open day, nine additional midwives are being fast-tracked through the recruitment process;
  • We are redesigning the labour ward to increase the number of single rooms so that more women have their own private space; and
  • We are planning to expand our already successful maternity assessment service and establish a 24 hour maternity assessment area to ensure that women get more prompt assessment in a comfortable dedicated area when they need it instead of being admitted to hospital.

“Over 4,000 mothers give birth at St. Peter’s and we have just completed filming of a new DVD which gives a virtual tour via the internet and a DVD for personal use in the comfort of the woman’s own home. This will be available soon and we are also thinking about ways to:

  • enable women to return to the comfort of their own home sooner after having their baby;
  • help women make more informed choice about caesarean sections; and
  • improve the support for new mums in the community by training our maternity assistants to provide parenting and breastfeeding support in the community.”

Eileen Nolan continues: “We would particularly welcome comments about any of these areas from parents who have recently had a baby at St. Peter’s or used our maternity services. If you would like to be involved please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. call Julia on 01932-723961.”