This survey from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) looked at the experiences of women and other pregnant people who had a live birth in early 2022.
At a national level the 2022 maternity survey shows that people's experiences of care have deteriorated in the last 5 years.
- Since 2017, there has been a positive upward trend for women and other people who had recently given birth reporting that there was no delay with their discharge from hospital, from 55% to 62% in 2022.
Mental health support
- Support for mental health during pregnancy is improving, although there remains room for further improvement.
- Nearly three-quarters of women and other pregnant people (71%) said their midwife definitely asked about their mental health during antenatal check-ups; an improvement compared with 69% in 2021 and 67% in 2019.
- Furthermore, 85% said they were given enough support for their mental health during their pregnancy; an improvement compared with 83% in 2021.
- In terms of postnatal care, the vast majority said a midwife or health visitor asked them about their mental health (96% compared with 95% in 2021 and 2019).
Key areas for improvement
Availability of staff
- The proportion of women and other pregnant people being given the help they needed when they contacted a midwifery team during antenatal care, dropped from 74% in 2017 to 69% in 2022.
- Women and other pregnant people were less likely to say they were ‘always’ able to get a member of staff to help them when they needed attention during labour and birth; 63% compared with 65% in 2021 and 72% in 2019.
- Results are lower still for care in hospital after the birth; 57% said they were ‘always’ able to get help, a decrease compared with 59% in 2021 and 62% in 2019.
- In terms of postnatal care, 70% were ‘always’ given the help they needed when contacting a midwifery or health visiting team, down from 73% in 2021 and 79% in 2019.
- Less than half (45%) said they could ‘always’ get support or advice about feeding their baby during evenings, nights or weekends, a downward trend since 2017 (56%).
Confidence and trust
- Just over two-thirds (69%) of women and other pregnant people reported ‘definitely’ having confidence and trust in the staff delivering their antenatal care.
- Results were higher for staff involved in labour and birth (78%) but there has been a downward trend since 2017 (82%).
- In terms of postnatal care, while most said they ‘definitely’ had confidence and trust in the midwifery team (71%), the trend is again a downward one, from 73% in 2017.
- There has also been a downward trend for ‘always’ being treated with kindness and understanding whilst in hospital after the birth, from 74% to 71%.
Communications and interactions with staff
- The proportion of women and other pregnant people saying they were given appropriate advice and support when they contacted a midwife or hospital at the start of their labour, decreased from 87% in 2017 to 82% in 2022.
- There has also been a downward trend since 2017 for women and other pregnant people saying that if they raised a concern during labour and birth, they felt it was taken seriously, from 81% to 77% in 2022.
- 59% of women and other pregnant people were always given the information and explanations they needed during their care in hospital, down from 66% in 2017.
How experience varies for different groups of people
Women and other pregnant people report some differences in their experiences of maternity care according to certain demographic characteristics. Some of the more consistent differences include women are more likely to report positive experiences of maternity care if they have continuity of carer or have an unassisted vaginal delivery. Women are more likely to report poorer experiences across the maternity care pathway if they have had an emergency caesarean birth, do not have continuity of carer (no named midwife) or have not had a previous pregnancy.
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