Midwives respond to CQC annual maternity services survey
By Midwives respond to CQC annual maternity services survey on 28 January 2020 Midwives Safety RCM RCM Member Safe high quality care MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Pregnancy CQC - Care Quality Commission Midwifery Continuity of Carer - MCOC Postnatal Care Postnatal Depression Maternal Mental health
The majority of women who gave birth in February last year had confidence and trust in staff and felt they were always listened to by midwives and received appropriate advice at the start of labour, that’s according to a national maternity survey by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has broadly welcomed the findings of the Care Quality Commission’s national maternity survey, although has sounded a note of caution on the quality and availability of postnatal services.
Responding, Gill Walton, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said: “It’s really encouraging to see an improvement in many areas of maternity care and we are particularly pleased that the majority of women surveyed felt they were always listened to by their midwife. Of the 17,000 women who responded many said that they ‘definitely’ had confidence and trust in the staff caring for them during labour and birth which is positive.”
Although the report highlights the quality of most women’s experience, there is still some way to go to ensure that continuity of carer – where a woman sees the same midwife throughout her pregnancy – is available to all.
Gill Walton continued:
“Continuity of carer is crucial to ensure pregnant women receive safe and high-quality care, but we must have enough midwives to get this right. We will continue to work with NHS trusts and boards, and the relevant health departments, to ensure this is a priority.
“We are also concerned to see that women felt let down by the accessibility of postnatal care. We know that one in five* women using maternity services are affected by maternal mental health problems yet there are not enough specialist midwives to care for them. A UK-wide RCM survey of heads of midwifery in 2019 found over a third of maternity services do not employ any specialist maternal mental health midwives, and this must be tackled as a matter of urgency.
“While we welcome the UK Government’s commitment to recruit more midwives, we currently remain 2,500 midwives short in England alone. If the shortage is not addressed and prioritised, our maternity services will continue to struggle to support women. More midwives mean women will get the care, time and support they truly deserve.”
NOTES to EDITORS
CQC Maternity Services Survey (Feb 2019) – published 28-01-20
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The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.