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Bristol hospital maternity services ranked top in UK

CQC Maternity Survey compared the maternity services of 133 acute trusts. Credit: Dominic Lipinski / PA

St Michael’s Hospital maternity services have been ranked top in the country.

A new survey compared the maternity services of 133 acute trusts across the country, with patient feedback that covered the service offered before, during and after birth.

From results gathered by the Care Quality Commission, St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol scored better than expected on 53% of the questions asked, ranking the service joint top in the country.

The hospital believe its midwifery-led-unit described as a 'home from home environment', has improved women’s experiences of giving birth.

This is an outstanding result for the service and all those involved.

The Maternity service wants to continually improve the service it offers to women and families, therefore it will be shortly piloting the use of family rooms on the post-natal wards to allow partners to stay overnight where this can be accommodated.

– Sarah Windfeld, head of midwifery at St Michael’s

Statement on maternity services

The Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group has issued the following statement in response to criticisms over funding of maternity services.

We are pleased to have provided an extra £1.1 million on top of the nationally agreed ‘Payment by results’ tariff for maternity services.

This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the best possible services can be provided to new and expectant mothers in north Devon whilst also helping the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust through a transition period.

A review of the model of maternity care is currently being undertaken and we will want assurances from the trust that it is designing services of the highest quality possible for expectant and new mothers as well as during labour.

– Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG

New budgets hit maternity services in North Devon

The Trust says around £1.1 million will be cut from its budget from the contract by the newly established Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

This is in line with changes to the national tariff which came into effect in April.

The loss of this level of income will inevitably call for a redesign of services.We know this won’t be easy to achieve and we will need all the knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment of our clinical staff to secure the best outcome for the families we serve."

– Jac Kelly, Chief Executive, The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust

The scale of the changes and the fact they have to be introduced immediately isn’t ideal. Some of the changes bring us in line with the model of care in other parts of the country. However, there will be service changes we would otherwise not have been planning to undertake."

– Jac Kelly, Chief Executive, The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust

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Midwife home visits in North Devon to be cut

The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is cutting maternity funding by 20%.

It says it will have to reduce home visits for mums apart from in exceptional circumstances.

The new doctor-based group that funds the Trust says it will give an additional one million pounds this year to smooth the transition but the Trust says it still won't be able to provide the same service.