Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of only three organisations in the country to be awarded £50,000 to fund a project to gather women’s feedback about giving birth to improve experiences of care.
The funding, from NHS England’s Maternity Challenge Fund, will see the trust set up a ‘birth reflection pathway’ and collect feedback from women having their baby at The Northumbria hospital at Cramlington.
The trust will use this feedback to signpost women to medical and psychological support if needed while also developing training for midwifery teams to improve care.
The six-month project will work hand-in-hand with Northumbria Healthcare’s patient experience programme.
Women having their baby at The Northumbria will have the opportunity to share their feedback in ‘real-time' whilst they are still in hospital.
For the first time, this feedback will be attributed to women by name should they wish it to be, ensuring that their experience is the very best it can be for all the family.
The new maternity project, which involves collaboration between the patient experience, health psychology and maternity teams at Northumbria Healthcare, also gives women the chance to share their feedback anonymously at a later date, once they have returned home.
The feedback given by patients will then be passed on to hospital bosses, highlighting areas where maternity services could be improved.
The Maternity Challenge Fund builds on the Friends and Family Test – which helps providers understand whether patients are happy with services – and supports NHS England’s plans for more effective use of patient insight data.
The fund provides an opportunity to test the feasibility of ideas for adding value from patient feedback in maternity services and to see whether, in practice, they work and could be transferable to other trusts.
Annie Laverty, director of patient experience at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:
Over 3,000 babies are born at The Northumbria hospital in a year.
The Birthing Centre has a midwifery-led unit with a co-located consultant-led obstetric unit.