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CQC Maternity pic

A SURVEY has found that County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is in the top ten in England for its maternity services.

The survey for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) asked women about their experiences of maternity services. The Trust's scores for antenatal, labour and birth, as well as post-natal services, were among the highest nationally. The survey also revealed the Trust's services have improved since the last survey was carried out in 2010.

The survey, conducted by the Co-ordination Centre for the NHS Patient Survey Programme at Picker Institute Europe, looked at women's experiences of maternity services at 137 NHS Trusts in England, asking them about various aspects of their care and the experiences they had before, during and after they gave birth.

The Trust scored:
• 9 out of 10 overall for women's experiences during labour and birth, compared to 9.4 for the highest Trust score achieved nationally
• 9 out of 10 for staff, compared to 9.1 for the highest Trust score achieved nationally
• 8.3 out of ten for its antenatal check-ups, compared to a top score nationally of 8.5
• 8.8 out of 10 for care received in hospital after the birth, compared to the highest Trust score of 8.9.

Anne Holt, CDDFT's head of midwifery and gynaecological services, said: "We are thrilled with the results of this survey. The improvement in patient experience shown in this report reflects the hard work we've been doing to ensure we're providing women, and their families, with the best possible experience during pregnancy and birth, and supporting them afterwards.

"We have been implementing a number of new policies and initiatives, addressing the public health agenda around breast feeding support, smoking in pregnancy, as well as a whole host of training and development work, so we can provide mums-to-be with the birth they want. For example, we've installed a new birthing pool at University Hospital of North Durham.

"We have also been developing some specialist roles within our teams. We have midwives who are breast feeding advisers and teenage pregnancy advisers, so we can target more vulnerable groups to improve their experience as well."

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest integrated care providers in England, serving a population of around 600,000 people across County Durham, Darlington, North Yorkshire, the Tees Valley and South Tyneside. The Trust brings together hospital, community services and health and wellbeing services to provide high quality and seamless care for patients.

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital