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Alarm raised at decline in women’s maternity experiences in England

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has sounded the alarm over a “concerning decline” in women’s experiences with maternity services.

Fewer women feel they always got the help they needed during labour and birth, many were disappointed at the amount of time their partners could stay with them after the delivery of their babies, and a significant number reported that they did not feel listened to when they raised concerns.

The CQC said it has noticed a “deterioration” over the last five years in the ratings women gave their care. 

It came as a major new national poll showed a “statistically significant downward trend” on most measures examined to track maternity care across the country. In particular, concerns were raised about staff availability, confidence and trust, as well as kindness and understanding of staff. Ratings also tumbled for whether women felt they had been treated with dignity and respect, the amount of information provided to mothers, and their concerns about being listened to.

Victoria Vallance, from the CQC, said: “These results show that far too many women feel their care could have been better. This reflects the increasing pressures on frontline staff as they continue in their efforts to provide high-quality maternity care with the resources available.”

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Source: The Guardian, 11 January 2023


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